Review: Judge Judy’s Buzz World

Zoe Barnes 13 May 2016

“It’s the spectacle that counts.” says Buzz, a crazy Christian redneck and superhero serial killer bent on delivering justice, as she vividly describes her past to an eager audience. Certainly, Judge Judy’s Buzz World was a spectacle of sorts, a laugh-a-minute, creative, one-woman show. A lot of fun, and delivered by the excellent Eve Delaney with a (sometimes faltering) southern twang and a great deal of heart.

Both the set and the costume were well-created, with an eye for not spoon-feeding the audience all the facts too quickly, but rather letting them reveal themselves at the most opportunely comedic moments. This allows Buzz to take us on riotous ride through a litany of stereotypical American characters, jumping about the stage like an excitable toddler. A jukebox covered by a sheet, and a table with cigarettes and beer bottle leads us to believe that the play is set in a run-down American diner, but the significance of the location not revealed until the very end. This succeeds in aiding the dark comedy in treading the fine line between being reminiscent of tales of the American Wild West while also exploring some very pertinent existential angst. If the final scene was executed somewhat poorly on stage, it did not prevent it from being hard-hitting.

There were a few issues throughout. Musical interludes started to grate after a while, though their presence was understandable and probably necessary to the one-woman show, and sound was used a little heavy-handedly (the radio DJ noticeably failing in his attempts to pull off an accent) – but nothing that could dampen the high spirit of a well put together performance.

The writing was to the point and mercifully void of the self-indulgence that plagues so many student writers. Interesting social commentary, capitalising on stereotypes of the good old United States of America, was dashed with running jokes and physical comedy. However, great praise must go to Eve Delaney and her ability to portray, via Buzz, multiple characters, with great physicality and vocalisation. Buzz is more than just a commentary on middle America. She is a multifaceted character, the descriptions of her life feeling both very real and highly fantastical, so much so that one is not entirely sure whether one is observing a crazed vigilante or someone who has actually managed to create a fantasy world so real that they have convinced themselves that it exists, and that they are its hero.

Judge Judy’s Buzz World is fun, but far from mindless, and well-worth seeing.

8/10