Here are a few reviews of the show, from various sources…
From Crikey.com.au September 30th, 2013. Reviewed by Patrick O’Duffy
In 1936, two-fisted archaeologist Indiana Jones is recruited by the US Government to prevent the rising Nazi Party from getting their hands on the ancient Ark of the Covenant. Aided by his former lover Marion Ravenwood and hunted by mercenary scholar Belloq, Indy …
What the hell am I doing?
Quick show of hands—who here hasn’t seen all three Indiana Jones films? Anyone? Anyone? (We’re not counting the fourth one, of course, because no one ever does.) I didn’t think so. No one needs a plot synopsis of Harrison Ford’s career highlights (or of Temple of Doom).
Let us look, then, at Raiders of the Temple of Doom’s Last Crusade, which is a one-man performance of all three Indiana Jones films in a single hour. That’s a straightforward enough concept— no need to break it down further. The question: is it any good?
And the answer is yes, it’s good; it’s freakin’ hilarious. Stephen Hall throws everything he has into his show, chaining together all the best bits of the films in a high-energy performance that leaves him sweating by the end. There are minimal props in the mix—a hat, a trunk, a map—along with lighting changes and the occasional use of shadow puppetry. But by far the biggest prop is Hall himself, jumping around the stage to re-enact scenes, miming all the important tools (including Indy’s bullwhip) and making all his own sound effects. And it’s not just Indy on stage; Hall plays the part of every major character, including the women and (sigh) Short Round—and he does a pretty mean Sean Connery.
Raiders of the Temple of Doom’s Last Crusade is a really engaging, fun show that celebrates the joy of these classic adventure movies. Using the dialogue, storylines and energy of the films, plus some judicious editing, it packs five hours of enjoyment into one dense and captivating hour that’s really worth seeing.
It’s also a stark and pointed reminder that oh yeah, Temple of Doom was terrible. And pretty racist. But still better than that one with Shia LaBeouf.
From ‘The Indycast’ (The World’s #1 Indiana Jones podcast) October 2nd, 2013. Reviewed by Ed Dolista
I had the pleasure of seeing Stephen Hall performing his one man show Raiders of The Temple of Doom’s Last Crusade as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival last week. The show is a one man tour de force in the style of the One Man Star Wars shows, where Stephen plays all the characters in the first three Indy films. Given the nature of the Fringe Festival, Stephen has minimal props; a world map which is hilariously used to document Indy‘s travel a la in the films, a shadow box which I won't give away too much about and the central old-school steamer trunk that transforms into a variety of set pieces. Each of the films’ stage equivalent goes for around 20 minutes, which keeps up the usual Indy breakneck pace we're accustomed to. Given the time limits, some story elements are skipped and only fleetingly referenced, but in no way does it alter the storytelling and he packs a lot into that one hour running time. By the end it looks like he has run a marathon… or at least been chased by a very large boulder.
The direction by Russell Fletcher utilizes the space very well and simple lighting cues and the smoke machine help move from scene to scene. But can one man really act out all the three Indy films? Absolutely. It’s apparent that Stephen has a deep affection for the Indy series and has picked up not only the voice characterizations but their body languages and nuances. It is Stephen’s physical and vocal exterior that - after a few minutes of acclimatising to the performance - has you on board for the next hour.
His character voices are dead-on, from the gruff Indy and jovial Sallah to his dead-on Marcus Brody and Henry Jones senior (and that’s not a stretch given his recent James Bond show). His Walter Donovan embodies Julian Glover to a Tee, and his Captain Katanga and Messenger Pirate are absolutely hilarious. Short Round, Mola Ram, Chattar Lal (or “Chaka Khan”, in this case) all hit the right notes. Even his depiction of the female characters are as believable as you could hope for. In fact, he has got all of the voice acting to a point where Indy fans that have grown up with the series will be hard-pressed not to think that some of these actors are actually in the room if they close their eyes. It’s nice to see a performance which also doesn’t take the Mickey out of the franchise but embraces it. Sure there are a few polite digs at certain events but they were all done in a playful manner. It’s also great that there is something in the performance for the super fans as well as the casual one. I’m sure I looked like a fool laughing in the front row, laughing at pretty much everything. It was absolutely fantastic and it wasn’t just me. Based on the packed out venue, there are a lot of Indy fans out there.
I’m sure I’m sounding like a gushing fan, but there was nothing to fault on this energetic performance and I urge any Indy fan, casual or hard-core alike, to see the show . The show runs until October 5th with tickets only $22… but you’d better hurry as there are some shows that are already close to selling out. It’s a show that no Indy fan should miss and I only hope that Stephen takes it further afield... as well as adding Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (mainly so I can hear him do his best Ray Winston impersonation). I will put a link up to where you can purchase tickets in the show notes and remember you can catch our interview with Stephen on episode 171 of The Indy Cast.
From Pop Culture-y.com September 26th, 2013. Reviewed by Aidan Johnson.
Three stories. Three props – a box, shadow puppets and a map of the world. One man. Prepare yourselves for an exciting and humorous performance of the classic Indiana Jones series: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Temple of Doom, and The Last Crusade. Fun and engaging, Raiders of the Temples of Doom’s Last Crusade is truly enjoyable. Packed full of leaping, accents and digs at the source material, you don’t have to be an Indiana Jones tragic to enjoy the performance, but it certainly helps.
Raiders of the Temple of Doom’s Last Crusade covers the initial Indiana Jones trilogy in an abridged one man show. Although it is a daunting prospect, Stephen Hall (Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell, Monty Python’s Spamalot, The Hollowmen, Bond-A-Rama!) manages to make it an accurate, exciting piece. He opened with Raiders of the Lost Ark, and the energy was boundless. Right from the get-go, Hall threw himself into the plethora of roles, adapting his body and voice to fit the character at the time. The accents were amazingly accurate, which highlighted his skills, and when combined with his almost child-like enthusiasm and energy, proved he is very capable. The Temple of Doom and The Last Crusade were both excellently performed as well, with a perfect transition between all three stories, which kept the piece fluid and fast paced.
The props were a fun aspect of the performance. There were three big props onstage – a large trunk, a map of the world, and a shadow puppet box. The trunk received the most attention throughout the performance – it was in the centre of the stage, and it was the most versatile of the three props. However, all three had their moments in the sun. The map of the world had a particularly amusing aspect – a red pen with a model airplane covering it. This simulated the plane trips that occur during the stories, and proved to be highly amusing, considering Hall would hum the Indiana Jones theme throughout these periods, keeping the pace flowing. The props helped add a slight level of authenticity to the performance, on top of Hall’s superb acting skills.
There were only a few minor issues with the performance. First and foremost was the audience – numerous people were up to fifteen minutes late to the performance, which is a lot of time when the show only goes for an hour. Aside from distracting latecomers, there were also numerous phones going off. A reminder to all show-goers, regardless of whether it is big or small – it is the height of impoliteness to have your mobile phone go off. Either turn it off, or put the device on silent. It is distracting to both audience members and the performer.
The other issues with the performance were slightly connected. Firstly, there was a technical problem with the microphone coming loose midway through the performance. Whilst Hall proceeded to soldier on, and the show sounded fine without amplification, it did seem to rattle his confidence slightly, and the show was definitely less vibrant than it had been. The other contributing factor to the slightly tired out feel was the fact that Hall was becoming exhausted after an hour of intense stage performance (understandably too – it looked like very hard work). However, it did start to feel more tired as a performance.
Overall, Raiders of the Temple of Doom's Last Crusade was a fun show. Filled with energy, even towards the end, it was highly amusing, and showcased Hall’s acting skills in a fantastic manner. The primary problem came from the audience during the show, which is no fault of the performer’s, although some of the slipups and the loss of confidence after the microphone mishap did slightly dampen the show. The props and the accents made up for the minor issues. In conclusion, the performance was a fantastically first-rate piece of Fringe Festival fun!
From Squirrelcomedy.com 24th September, 2013. Reviewed by Elyce Phillips.
The Indiana Jones films have a special place in the hearts of many a film fan. Their blend of action and humour, not to mention being helmed by what remains one of the coolest protagonists ever created, made them as close to perfect an example of the adventure genre as there has ever been. Stephen Hall has taken on the challenge of condensing three of the most beloved movies of our times into a single hour, performing all the characters himself. The result is a loving homage that captures the spirit of the original trilogy, but is not afraid to poke some fun.
Hall blazes through the three Indiana Jones films at breakneck pace (We won’t speak of Crystal Skull). The man has clearly done his research. His method of taking on the characters is stripped-back – there are no drastic changes of
appearance, but through his mannerisms he manages to distil the essence of all the main players in a way that is immediately recognizable. Hall’s rendition of Dr. Brody was particularly great. Visually tricky sequences are handled in
wonderfully lo-fi ways – the show’s solution to re-creating the iconic map sequences is hilariously simple.
Hall keeps the energy up through the entire hour. He throws himself into the last chase scene with as much gusto as he does the first. It’s impressive how much of the plot is crammed into the hour. All the major story points are in there, and there are a few sly nods to things that had to be cut. Despite the cracking pace that the story needs to travel at to fit into the allotted time, it’s easy to follow. If you haven’t seen the Indiana Jones films, you would still get a kick
out of the show. However, fans will get this most out of this. It’s an absolute joy to see the tiny little details that Hall has managed to weave into the show.
Raiders of the Temple of Doom’s Last Crusade is a must-see for fans of Indiana Jones. Hall’s version is every bit a quick-witted and action-packed as the originals, and twice as funny.