MICF – Mina vs the Martians by Innes Lloyd

by | Apr 5, 2024

By Sarah Davies

If you happen to have missed Innes Lloyd’s previous two Mina Harker adventures, never fear, gentle viewer; the audience is quickly initiated into the world of our central character, and what a rich, zany world it is… channeling the manic energy of a Looney Tunes cartoon and the cultural referencing and satirical might of The Simpsons. (Seasons 1 – 10, obviously. *Sigh* when they were still great…)

Mina vs. the Martians is the latest in a string of comedy triumphs from the team of Innes Lloyd, combining the undeniable writing chops of David Innes with Rob Lloyd’s dynamic direction. The two creators are joined onstage by the talented trio of Liam O’Kane, Jackson Eather, and Jen Speirs as the titular Mina Harker of Dracula fame.

This tight knit party of five is brimming with delightfully madcap energy that soars smoothly through the 60-minute runtime like a Whitman’s War Blimp. MVTM deftly melds action, romance, drama, and consistent laughs aplenty. Transcending space, time, and consciousness, blending the more grounded backdrop of Europe during WW1 with elements of sci-fi, fantasy, and monster-movie horror, paying loving homage to numerous genre-defining historical and cultural touchstones. While there were many ‘HA’s’ to be had in the esoteric references scattered like Easter eggs throughout the show, there was just as much joy and humour in their physical comedy, absurd reactions, and witty one-liners.

It is a testament to the skill of all involved that in the midst of many chuckles and swift character and scene transitions, I found myself invested in the budding relationship between Quincy and Archie, which was particularly noteworthy in creating an immediate, captivating tension.

While trying to avoid spoilers, an unexpected personal favourite was the inclusion of FUN FACTS: these ‘ad break’ segments split the story neatly into 3 Acts, while providing genuinely fascinating historical context, and an opportunity for Innes Lloyd to share insight into their own inspiration and creative process; a treat which audiences seldom receive. Much like when Penn & Teller reveal how their tricks are done after the fact, this experience actually enhanced our collective appreciation of the magic before us. Teachers could take a lesson on how to make random trivia so gut busting.

So, in summation, my sweet summer child, get your butt (and other attached body parts) to The Butterfly Club for Mina vs. the Martians 8:30pm this Friday 5th, Saturday 6th, and Sunday 7th April.

 

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