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Review: Bane Trilogy

Roslyn Hull

Bane is a multi-award-winning comedy thriller that follows the story of tough guy Bruce Bane, a hit man who has suddenly become the target. Enlighten

What’s a dame[1] to do?

After I loitered with intent at the noodle market, sized up the lightshow and checked out the lanterns, this broad’s[2] dogs were barkin’[3]. I got lucky though, a doll[4] hooked me up with a coupla tickets to see a show where I could sit down – so hallelujah and praise Sam Spade[5]. But you don’t wanna hear my sob story, you want the gen[6] on Bruce Bane, so I’ll give it to ya straight-like, see?

Ok, so I may have seen a few too many film noirs and read a few too many Raymond Chandler and Elmore Leonard books but that just made this production even more fun for me.

It is part of the rich calendar for Enlighten this year and the need-to-know information is this: it’s a live one-man show (with a musician), a classic detective story with action, intrigue and lots of comedy. There are three parts to the production, with Bane 2 on next weekend and then Bane 3 at the ANU Arts Centre the following Wednesday. However each story is a complete ‘episode’ so you can see one or all of them.

It was pleasant to have live guitar music from Ben Roe – the score was always vital in a classic Hollywood noir – but my hat goes off the Joe Bone, possibly the hardest working actor/comedian I’ve ever seen. Like the best noirs this is show is jampacked with quirky and shady characters. The difference is Bone plays every single one. Every one.

He plays women, children, snitches, Rick Moranis (yes – I saw you steal that Joe), scientists, Italians, Russians and, of course, an evil villain. There is even a whiff of Fight Club when he wrestles with himself and throws himself to the ground. He dies, several times and smokes as many cigarettes as Bogie, when he can get his lighter to work. He sings opera and references Johnny Cash with a riff on the Chuck Berry scene from Back to the Future (yep, know where you nicked that from too Joe).

All with exactly zero props.

I know how hard it is to remember slabs of dialogue and Joe Bone goes flat out, by himself, for over an hour. Telling a story from so many perspectives and in so many accents – without the aid of tangible memory devices or other actors to assist him. Wow.The blurb says:

‘A film noir style trilogy best described as Die Hard meets the Naked Gun on stage.’

I say it’s the Mickey Spillane Olympics. Well done.

the essentials

What: Bane 2
When: 9pm, Friday 6 and Saturday 7 March
Where: National Library of Australia (Theatre)

What: Bane 3
When: 7pm, Wednesday 18 March
Where: ANU Arts Centre

How much: $26 Concession, $31 Full, Trilogy Package $76

[1] woman
[2] woman’s
[3] feet were tired
[4] nice woman
[5] legendary private detective created by Dashiell Hammett and made famous by Humphrey Bogart
[6] information


Ros Hull

Roslyn is a writer and storyteller who loves all things Canberra, her family, sci fi and movies – but not in that order. She has worked in museum education since 2001 and has a passion for imparting knowledge to others. Writing is her happy place, particularly if there is a dog at her feet and a coffee in her hand. More about the Author

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