zazU: A Fête Worse Than Death

★★★
comedy review | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 21 Aug 2015

zazU is a lovely comedy play about a weird fictional place, the summer fête being held there and the various parties involved in pulling off the event. There is mystery, intrigue, murder and quiche. All four of the cast members are keen as mustard and each performs marvellously. The story is good – clever, well written and with enough variety to keep the audience hooked. All the ingredients are there. Yet somehow the whole isn’t greater than the sum of its parts.

Perhaps it's just a bit too fragmented. The cast dart off between each scene for quick costume changes and reappear as different characters, most of which, individually, are very funny – ridiculously exaggerated caricatures and stereotypes of tourists, police officers and the types of people who organise fêtes. Nonetheless, no loose ends are left dangling and all the seemingly random moments from the start are given meaning and fit into the story.

But something doesn't quite click. Perhaps it's that we're given too short a time to let the madness of the world of zazU sink in – or maybe we're given too much to take in at once. It would make a great sitcom – there are catchphrases and regular characters that keep reappearing in this strange world where normal rules don’t apply. But disbelief is never entirely suspended and the end result is a good show that could have been great.