Pompous orchestra conductor Will finds himself locked out of his house by his wife. He takes shelter, by accident, in his twin brother Igor’s bedroom. The two haven’t seen each other in ten years, and smelly, farting, video-games obsessed Igor is very close indeed to turning into a zombie. Despite their rivalry and resentment, the two brothers help each other out and are reunited by their love for classical music.
The success of this show is largely due to the two actors playing Will and Igor, whose remarkable stage presence and sense of comic timing contribute to engaging and amusing the audience throughout the show.
Decomposed! is a silly, fun show for the whole family: if the kids laughed out loud at the zombie references and farting antics, the adults laughed even louder, mostly at Will’s expense. After all, who doesn’t like poking fun at a self-righteous Waitrose-shopping, child-pushing, wife-controlling composer who prefers using an Austrian-sounding name for extra prestige?
For all its silliness, the show does a great job at introducing children to, or reminding adults of, the beauty of classical music. Accompanied by recordings of the London Symphony Orchestra, Decomposed! plays its way through great sonatas and funny lyrics sang against recognisable classical pieces.
There is a scene in which Will and Igor are trying to convince each other that classical music is not worth their time, and they play some famous pieces in their head only to discard them. This is until they listen to an especially moving piece, whose beauty dawns on the audience as much as it does on the characters. The amusement of the previous scenes is here married with a moment of serious, respectful contemplation, and it is rare for a children’s show to achieve as much.
The success of this show is largely due to the two actors playing Will and Igor, whose remarkable stage presence and sense of comic timing contribute to engaging and amusing the audience throughout the show. They also have an irreverent way of interacting with both children and adults that delighted everyone involved, and that could set an example to many other companies.
There are moments when one senses that the storyline is a little packed – such as the anecdote about Igor and his ex-girlfriend’s revolutionary ambitions to bring victory to the workers. In this respect the show appeared to fluctuate in terms of the age group it addressed, with some scenes where the humour would probably go over the head of a six-year old (which is the target audience). But over all Decomposed! is a light-hearted, very enjoyable play indeed, and one whose silliness is balanced by Igor and Will’s endearing story.