A story of small town America and d.i.y. cryogenics, Vox Mutus’s Fringe hit, The-Not-So-Fatal Death of Grandpa Fredo has come to chill in Glasgow’s Tron Theatre.
In the shadowy woods of Reliance Falls, an economically-troubled backwater any-town in the United States, transcendentalist Norwegian immigrant Fridtijof Fredo hides a family secret in his freezer. Amidst the frozen herring lies the cryogenically preserved head of his grandfather, patiently awaiting the medical Utopia which will raise the dead and defrost the frosty.
As the officious officials determined to defrost the cadaver and melt a potential media storm, Imogen Toner and Harry Ward are comedy gold, the sweet, cunning villains of a colourful cartoon. Toner’s Mayor Conquest is the all-American villain, a wonderfully expressive Sarah Palin parody with Ward’s bureaucratic Keystone Cop at her side. As Fredo, Ewan Donald is a cute Scandinavian Willy Wonka and, like Simon Donaldson’s Archie Merkin, knows how to strum a guitar and pluck a bango.
Imaginative and creative, Candice Edmund and Jamie Harrison’s design is stunning in its simplicity. This revolves around an ingenious, angular wooden shed which unfolds, rotates and splits to reveal quite unbelievable secrets. Simon Wilkinson’s lighting design, too, is striking, juxtaposing the yellowy sunsets of a Midwestern evening with the icy blue of a freezer’s light.
An inventive musical comedy which brings the dry ice of the theatre to the dry ice of a cryogenics lab.