After seeing How to Win Against History as part of the “Fun Palace” weekend at Ovalhouse, I was offered a free ticket to see Crimplene Millionaire in the Downstairs space. I wasn’t really keen on seeing this show, but I decided that as the ticket was free, I might as well accept. Good decision.
Originally commissioned by Counterculture 50 – a project including 5 pieces from 5 different decades – Crimplene Millionaire is a send-up of the 1970s gameshow format. Written by Boogaloo Stu, the piece places watchers as the television studio audience, witnessing the return to the limelight of light entertainer Derek Daniels (as well as his glamorous wife).
The audience were divided into three teams to play the game. Inevitably there was some level of audience participation, but I found this to be great fun and not at all cringeworthy as I might have feared. Each move brought up another aspect of 1970s politics, culture and lifestyle, a nostalgia-fest for the older members of the audience (my parents would have loved it) and a highly entertaining look into the past for younger members. These were as varied as dances, games, cultural artefacts and even food.
There was a great atmosphere in the room which contributed to the success of the evening. I suspect that most of those present had been offered free tickets on the night, yet as far as I could see everyone was having a great time. The two “presenters” were committed and very funny, revealing secrets about their “marriage” and history throughout the show, a common thread in amongst the anecdotes.
Despite having to be coerced to see this production, I am really glad I went – I had a great time, and I would definitely take along some friends if it was ever to come back.