At first it may appear ‘Two Man Tarantino’ has not given too much thought to what it says. Just repeating some cool lines and moments from Quentin Tarantino movies and if you recognise them. . . Then that means you get it. Recent events have got people thinking twice though.
Maybe it means that ‘Two Man Tarantino’ is a deep treatise on the human condition and our recent inclinations towards fandom and nostalgia while celebrating that fact.
I’d like that, but that ain’t the truth.
The truth is, this is a fun night out at the theatre celebrating the filmography of a modern auteur but it’s trying real hard to be more and it’s nice to see that it is succeeding.
Returning to the Brisbane Powerhouse after a successful run at Wonderland Festival in late 2018, ‘Two Man Tarantino’ was an energetic crowd pleaser with two appealing leads.
Now the jokes fly even more thick and fast and the meta-text is a little deeper. A more polished and confident work, it still retains the charm of its initial debut.
A video store is closing, and one final employee and customer played by Stephen Hirst and Emily Kristopher hang out on its last night. A competition ensues of who is the biggest Tarantino fan, with the two of them acting out iconic scenes and performances and recounting trivia from the films.
No doubt this is a show for lovers of Quentin Tarantino’s filmography, things just resonate more the bigger a fan you are.
Not just in all the cleverly-laid references but in the inspired way the style, characterisations and nature of the plot begins to mirror the director’s classics more as we go along.
Laid-back Aussie humour and accents gives way to American brashness.
Sexual tension between two nervous people replaced by full-on physicality and over-the-top playing to the rafters.
Emily and Stephen are so effortlessly appealing that their performances elevate the material, but the script from Maureen Bowra, Jack Kelly and Christopher Wayne seems sharper and funnier this time around even if changes have been minimal.
All the better for the moments when the show zags when you expect it to zig.
Three years ago there was something likeable about ‘Two Man Tarantino’, now it’s more than a little doggie that barks all day – now it bites.
‘Two Man Tarantino’ plays Brisbane Powerhouse until 27 March.