Ukraine Fringe digital review: Fantastic Vehicles (4 Decay) / The Booth

Fantastic Vehicles (4 Decay) – Projekt Antihero (UK), 64 min.

Promotional image for Fantastic Vehicles

A bastardised Hamlet in which a boy finds himself moved with his widowed mother into her new husband’s mansion. What really happened to his father?

Mathew Dunlop playe all parts in this intriguing deconstruction of Shakespeare’s classic play, presented at Edinburgh Fringe in 2021.

When the father drowns and the will’s executor appears to marry the widow for the insurance policy, the disturbed son starts to investigate and examine the evidence that may point to murder.

This is a clever piece of theatre that brings something new to a play that has been adapted perhaps more than any other.

We have seen gender and age-blind Hamlets, ones with twin prince, no older characters, ghost/prince schizophrenia, and more. The tale can be military, horrific, or even broadly comic.

However, with the text chopped and rearranged, the overall effect is confusing (father’s death using the report of Ophelia’s, added lines which feel more police procedural than royal tragedy).

The character of the new husband reads as psychiatrist to the son’s patient, as we come to believe the mansion of Elsewhere may be, in fact, an asylum.

Dunlop’s performance is excellent, but the construction of Fantastic Vehicles (4 Delay) is just too odd to really convince as a Hamlet, however “bastardised.”

Still, the experimental nature of a piece of theatre like this is welcome, and as a digital production, it is deeply original and provoking right to the end.


The Booth – Thoreau, NM (USA), 25 min

Promotional image for The Booth

A comedy in one act by Lance Skapura, directed by Alice McCallister, this show features Lisa Germ as Thena, Bruce Story-Camp as Robert, and Chelsea Noelle as Paula.

This is a tale of stage technicians, those with the power behind the scenes of a show. It’s clever, knowing, and highlights the “moles” who are essential to theatre

Filmed as an archival presentation at 2017’s Pittsburgh Fringe, The Booth has now been edited for presentation and is showing at the Ukraine Fringe.

It’s a funny look at the mundane yet skilled work from those who rarely get the credit for the success of a production (but often get the blame if things go wrong).

The Booth is a workplace comedy and a nod to the creativity of stage management. It mixes co-worker chat with little filter with shop talk about shows past, with an amusing assessment of the reality of the role of “dressing in stage blacks.”

A fun diversion for theatre folk.


Ukraine Fringe continues to 3 Sep with a live programme in Kyiv (details here) and an online programme on Scenesaver (details here) where you can view titles for free or with an optional donation.

Scenesaver presents a wide variety of theatre shows from across the worldwide fringe. Register for free here.

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