‘Two Man Tarantino’ was a bingo.
Since the late 1980s, one iconic filmmaker has left a bloody footprint on the film industry. That man is Quentin Tarantino. It’s no surprise then that his legacy and style were the focus in Brisbane Powerhouse’s ‘Two Man Tarantino’. In the last video store in Australia, a cool geek and a badass geek compete to see who is Mr Brown’s biggest fan. They explore Tarantino’s work, his legacy and their relationship along the way.
The killer script by Maureen Bowra, Jack Kelly and Christopher Wayne is a fitting homage. On the surface, the slick dialogue and beautiful characters are as tasty as a burger with a $5.00 milkshake. But dig a bit deeper and you can see that the script praises Tarantino’s love of grindhouse theatre, kung fu and Spaghetti Westerns. You could honestly see Tarantino writing this piece himself, which shows the commitment and admiration they all have for the man. The fact that it’s set in a video store (a place where Tarantino worked and got his love for films) and that it’s named Red Apple with movie title coffee cups, gives a nice moment for true fans of the answering machine voice in ‘Jackie Brown’.
Bowra’s direction really had music in it. The writer/director’s attention to detail is truly remarkable; not a moment of the play felt slow or boring. The blocking flawlessly captured the audience and made the show feel as if it were a movie.
In true Tarantino form, the cast makes all the difference, as shown by Emily Kristopher as The Woman and Stephen Hirst as The Man. Kristopher owned the role of the badass chick looking for redemption, while Hirst owned the cool thug who plays by his own rules. The chemistry between the two was like a pair of ‘Natural Born Killers’. Kristopher and Hirst had fantastic stage presences, facial expressions, and their comedic timing was funnier than Tarantino doing an Aussie accent. Pair it with dialogue, it made this piece better than fried sauerkraut!
Kristopher and Hirst’s commitment to executing flawless re-enactments of ‘Reservoir Dogs’, ‘Pulp Fiction’, ‘Kill Bill’, ‘Deathproof, ‘Inglourious Basterds’, ‘Django Unchained’, ‘The Hateful 8’ and ‘Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood’ left the audiences in stitches and awe. Not to mention the marvellous, stylised fight choreography was also of not. For over an hour, these two burned the theatre down in magnificent fashion.
The lighting and sound captured elements of Tarantino’s dazzling style. With many audio snippets of his unique music to help drive the plot. Great lighting choices and colours helped enhance the production like a Tarantino camera zoom. Set design by David Lawrence played with Tarantino’s favourite colours and perfectly enhanced the vibe of a dying video store.
‘Two Man Tarantino’ relishes the man who was Elvis Presley in an episode of ‘The Golden Girls’. It is unapologetically intense, hilarious and jaw-dropping; an outstanding way to escape reality by crashing headfirst through what might be his greatest tribute yet.
Presented by More than Magic in partnership with Brisbane Powerhouse, ‘Two Man Tarantino’ plays until Saturday, 27 March 2021. Follow and keep up to date with the production via its Facebook page.