The Ballad of Backbone Joe. Space Theatre. 16 Jun 2012
When I traipsed into the Space, a trio were making country-like honky-tonk sounds with a twist while the audience murmured. I thought for a second I was late but the house lights were up. After a few numbers, they ceased, and the house lights dimmed for the main show. It was then I discovered that Joseph O'Farrell, Miles O'Neil and Glen Walton were the main event as well. These guys are masters of deception and theatrical trickery and use their astonishing invention to act out a whacky vaudeville ballad reminiscent of a show one might have seen entertaining the Californian or Victorian gold miners out on the digs. In this one, one of several performance ballads in their repertoire, punch drunk boxer Backbone Joe has been duped by his crooked manager, Messy Dimes, into thinking he murdered his girl. Private dick Von Trapp, enters the small town in disguise to snare Messy Dimes. All possible means are employed from shadow puppetry to conjuring. It was a sheer delight, like when a suitcase became an automobile complete with headlights and a wind screen. I loved every minute of it.
Where: Space Theatre