Spooky Dog

‘Spooky Dog’ // Tugun Theatre Company

‘Spooky Dog and The Teen-Age Gang Mysteries’ was spooky.

Are you ready for a thrilling night at Tugun Theatre’s grand finale for the year? Brace yourself for this amusing production that wraps up their 2023 playbill with a bang.

Picture this: an adults-only spoof of your favourite Saturday morning cartoons. This half-scripted, half-improvised play takes you on a hilarious journey as a pop culture icon (chosen by the audience each night) goes missing at the creepola county county fair. The only hope for locating them lies in the hands of a very familiar gang of teen sleuths: Thelma, Tiffany, Scraggly, Ted, and the mysterious Spooky Dog. Get ready for a campy and comical quest filled with a terrifying phantom, a not-so-psychic fortune teller, and a questionable couple running the fairgrounds. But that’s not all—this gang will also confront their own burgeoning sexual desires, indulge in tasty dog treats with unexpected side effects, and even discover a surprise talent for busting a move. Say goodbye to innocent Saturday morning cartoons, because this one will leave you seeing them in a whole new light.

Nathan Schulz’s direction kept things simple and natural, allowing each character to reveal multiple layers. The minimalist set design by Director Schulz, along with artwork by Kate Paraskevos and Sophie Lawson, featured moveable trucks adorned with painted cards showcasing classic fair items. This approach placed the story and characters in the forefront of the production. Noah Johnson’s sound design, featuring live guitar on stage, added a cartoonish vibe rarely seen in stage productions.

Director Shulz’s lighting design, with wide stage washes, brought a Brechtian/Epic Theatre angle to the production, However the multiple black outs for set changes could have been investigated further as to not disrupt the flow and energy of the production.

The fantastic costumes by Millie Talbot, Shaquira Summerville, Chantelle Miller, and Sonia Rakovska paid a brilliant tribute to the production’s theme. Each costume was meticulously crafted and flawlessly executed. Director Schulz’s smart choice of 2D cardboard cutouts for props, depicting drinks, hot dogs, phones, and more, reinforced the cartoon aesthetic of the production.

Jay-Louise Clark stole the spotlight as Thelma, showcasing impeccable comedic timing and facial expressions. Chantelle Eileen Miller as the sultry Tiffany delivered a hilarious portrayal of the stereotypical blonde, while Mikey Real embodied the stoner character Scraggly with amusing precision. Dan Pohlmann as Ted not only portrayed the jock type character but also dazzled with impressive dance moves. Mikayla Maree Melo as the titular Spooky Dog brought hilarity to the stage, effortlessly portraying both human and animal characteristics. Kudos to Melo for turning that evening’s mishaps into comedic gold. Cecile Campbell and Paul Oehlmann rounded out the cast with versatile performances, seamlessly transitioning between multiple roles in the production.

‘Spooky Dog and the Teen-Age Gang Mysteries’ promises a night of laughter for adults on the Gold Coast’s Southern End. Don’t miss the chance to revel in this comedic spectacle!

‘Spooky Dog’ performs until Saturday 25th November at Tugun Theatre Company. For more information visit their website.

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