Review: Terror Highway
I’ve never known anyone to have as much fun in the Basement space as Thomas Sainsbury: Long ago there was Beast, a horror that incorporated lost siblings, a sinister scientist and an actual car parked onstage, and now playing in the same space is the third instalment in Dynamotion’s Terror Trilogy, Terror Highway.
Told entirely through dance and a pre-recorded voiceover with a Southern American twang, Terror Highway takes a handful of saucy exploitation-film tropes and throws them onstage. First we meet the lovers: She, a waitress (Lara Fischel-Chisholm) and he, an unspecified thug (Chris Parker). He’s visiting her at the diner one day when she goes out for a cigarette break with the two other waitresses on duty. While they’re gone, there’s a massacre. Chris Lee’s among the dead. The killer escapes, the police arrive, and the three waitresses are wrongly arrested for murder. In order to avenge his death, they break out of prison, escape an alligator farm, fight off cacti, smoke mescaline, battle hillbillies and finally – and quite literally – face the dance-off from hell.
The show is fantastically fun, electric, gritty and camp. It maintains an impressively high energy throughout its hour-long running time, alternating fiercely sassy scenes with the occasional slow, dirty duet and mashing together different dance styles in the process (think Beyonce with melodramatic jetés and a b-bop spin). Kate Simmonds, Lara Fischel Chisholm, Chris Parker and Roberto Nascimento are particularly hypnotic, not only slick but with a real sense of character (L-R: frightening sass-pot , sexy widow, sensual thug and camp authoritarian), though the entire cast – and the show itself – is a total delight.