Fringe review: Dreamgun Film Reads

Dreamgun: Film Reads’ take on The Silence of the Lambs is an outrageously funny show that left me craving a Chianti and fava beans, as well as more of their absurd brand of comedy. ★★★★ ½ 

Mar 06, 2020, updated Mar 07, 2020

Dreamgun: Film Reads is a simple concept: three Irish comedians –  Ronan Carey, Stephen Colfer and Hannah Mamalis – perform their own re-written version of classic film scripts with the help of a few guest performers.

Condensed down into one hour, each movie is given its proper due and there is no shortage of hilarious lampooning.

The show and its associated podcast were born from a fundraising event in which the three old school friends who founded Dreamgun wrote their own script for a reading of Back to the Future. Since then, the improv comedy troupe have re-created around 15 different scripts for films including GoldenEye 007, Toy Story, Spider-man and even Lord of the Rings.

On Wednesday night in Studio 7 in the Garden of Unearthly Delights, they tackled the daunting task of not only silencing the screams of Silence of the Lambs’ heroine Clarice Starling’s dreams, but also making the story shockingly hilarious.

Taking one of cinema’s greatest thriller scripts and turn it into comedy gold requires not only a clever script, but also a raucous performance – and that is exactly what we got.

The Dreamgun regulars had roped in three artists from other Fringe shows as their guests, and the fact that none of them had the opportunity to see their lines in advance added to the fun.

The scripts wrong-footed the ring-ins by turning well-known Silence of the Lambs’ characters – such as the putrid Multiple Miggs – into hilarious caricatures. In one instance, Ronan Carey, as narrator, made a guest performer and the entire audience cackle with laughter when he announced: “As we will remember, having seen the film, Dr Chilton is a seven-foot-tall man made entirely of eels.”

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There were also many riffs on famous quotes, with the delivery being paramount to the impact of lines such as, “According to Wikipedia, Chianti is a type of wine and fava beans are a type of bean.”

The film reads are an excellent display of satire, showing a reverence for classic movies, as well as an ability to highlight their absurd nature.

 Dreamgun: Film Reads is showing until March 15 at the Garden of Unearthly Delights, with each performance dedicated to a different film. See the full program here.

See more Fringe and Festival stories and reviews here.

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