Inspired by a real spate of supermarket robberies in Kirkcaldy, this fringe debut riffs on the Tarantino classic Reservoir Dogs. Two men in rubber animal masks stagger in through a side door, Walrus (Alistair Maxwell) supporting Pig (Blair Young) who is bleeding profusely. He’s been stabbed in the penis by a shopworker with a lottery pen. What an entrance.
Battling through technical difficulties early on the young creative team get a chance to show off their improv skills and keep things moving along smoothly. The script itself is a generally enjoyable firehose of jokes. Not all of them land, but they come at such speed you’re laughing all the way regardless. A change in tone towards solemnity right at the end as Seal delivers his closing monologue is a little jarring and feels unearned, so lacking in sincerity is the rest of the production, but it is delivered with heart and brings the piece to a neat close.
Parodies always run the risk of leaning too heavily on their source materials and not being able to stand on their own. It is a show of Punch Monkey Theatre’s skill that they never allow this to happen. While some knowledge of Tarantino’s film will certainly enhance your enjoyment, it is not required viewing. The characters are not just shadows of the film they are spoofing and have depth and history that makes it easier to empathise with and root for these hapless criminals.