Review: Major Tom, by Victoria Melody, Pulse Fringe Festival, New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, June 4

Victoria Melody’s Major Tom sees her and basset hound exploring championship dog showing and beauty

Victoria Melodys Major Tom sees her and basset hound exploring championship dog showing and beauty pageants. June 4, New Wolsey Theatre. - Credit: Archant

Victoria Melody and her basset hound, Major Tom, greet each member of the audience in turn before the show starts and she tells the story of her experience in the worlds of female and canine celebrity.

While Victoria is crowned as Mrs Brighton and bids to become Mrs England, she and her faithful pet enter the parallel universe of dog shows.

In between the narrative, constantly laced with humour, we see film from a hand-held camera as woman and dog are groomed for their big moments in front of judges.

It is a story of ultimate failure in a world where celebrity, beauty and, most of all, being a winner, matter so much to so many.

But along the way we are treated to a bonanza of comic endurance as both woman and dog are exposed to training regimes and advice, to “put downs” and encouragement..

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Major Tom, a stoical but affable figure, is on stage throughout, grudgingly responding to his cues with the help of doggy treats.

This is very much a unique approach to drama and one which totally depends for its success on the actor charming the audience with her personality. This was achieved from the very outset.

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The actor’s engagement with the audience was direct and while the show appeared to be tightly scripted and was certainly` very slick, it was delivered in a very relaxed and winning style.

David Green

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