Glampire Masquerade REVIEW by Esther Dougherty
A glitzy cabaret club, undead drag queens, an acrobat, a skeleton band and a game! Glampire Masquerade really was the true Anywhere Theatre Festival experience, turning a three-walled shed thing into a glamorous fantasy land. I was blown away by the scale of this production, credit to directors Tim Monley and Gianni Tills for pulling it all off.
Glampire Masquerade is a big party game where the audiences play in character and are tasked to work together to “win” rounds. There are two groups, Thrills and Drabs – Thrills want to help the glampires by voting with a pink stone, Drabs want to sabotage the glampires by voting clear stone. The use of character cards to activate roles for the audience is such a great device, and the absurd characters were great conversation stuffer. A really mixed-bag crowd made the forced mingling less soul-sucking, as did the bar – a testament to Folly Games’ reach as a company, and ability to engage people who don’t normally see theatre. The structure of this game is based off party games like “Werewolf”, where the tension is built by not knowing who is sabotaging the rounds. The group are given limited opportunities to guess who the saboteur is and exclude them from play. Characters with special abilities help build a picture of who’s who, but with everybody playing with secret agendas its hard to know who to trust. This production fell just a little shy of that tension – trying to organise so many people, and with a strict time schedule due to back to back performances, the rituals were often over before you’d even introduced yourself to the table. If there were more facilitated opportunities throughout the game to out drabs and vote on suspicions there might have been more investment in the game play from the audience. However, since I was playing as a drab, this may just be my bitter, unglamorous side clouding my judgement.
All in all, Glampire Masquerade was a riot and a lot of fun. Big love to the cast for juggling a lot of crowd management in character – special props to Glossferatu played by Tom Molnar and Dragula played by Tyler Morrisson for their hilarious off stage dialogue (my favourite line coming from Dragula who accidentally tripped over a light and stormed off stage muttering “I need to be well lit”).
The gamification of theatre is bringing a dying art form back to life, and Folly Games is putting itself out there as a frontrunner for the resurrection of Brisbane theatre. Keep doing what you’re doing, can’t wait to see what the future holds for this company!
Written By Esther Dougherty