A strange looking white-coated scientist examines an odd assortment of objects on the floor. He carefully and slowly moves the top hat an inch to the left, turns a trumpet slightly to the right and shifts an old fashioned alarm clock back just a fraction. Get used to this sequence because during the course of the hour that is Faileontology, you’ll be seeing a lot of it.
Thomas Wileman’s character Jacques, a scientific genius, is trapped in a lab somewhere in the universe with his hapless assistant Albert, played by Tom Butterworth. They work there, keeping the forces of the universe in balance and neither can escape until Jacques finishes his experiment. With elements of farce, the absurd and even moments of some quite convincing mime, this play is lacking something essential: a plot.
There are broad themes being explored: gravity, friendship and ‘science’. However, none are explored in any particular depth and their attempt at absurd comedy turns into an hour of rambling that makes very little sense to those of us looking in. The plot is so annoyingly confused that all attempts at comedy fall completely flat, with only a few small titters heard from the audience throughout this supposedly comic play. The scientific tangents that these two characters are constantly flying off on act as poor replacements for a real storyline.
The only saving grace of this play is the quite convincing acting, especially when Albert and Jacques are pinned to the floor through forces unknown. However, this cannot save a show full of inconsistencies, terrible German accents and unrelentingly awful dialogue. The plot was self indulgent, confusing and simply dull. There were a few moments that were enjoyable because these two are not terrible actors; they’re just in a bad play that neither of them can really commit to. Failure literally and figuratively is the name of the game.