I’m actually not quite sure how to describe this show other than to say it is completely random, utter lunacy, almost certainly genius nonetheless, and very, very funny.
It really is a strange collection of moments, jokes, sight gags, tiny skits, observations and quick wit that at first seems to have no real shape to it but, by the end of a very fast-paced 45 minutes, seems to have figured out what it is.
Oliver Coleman is in turns intense then personable, over the top, then boy-next-door.
The pool-skit itself was so stupid it was brilliant.
The one thing I am certain of is that I laughed like a drain all the way through it – so much that my stomach hurt.
And I walked out of the show saying ‘what the **** (heck, of course) was that?’ but feeling like all is right with the world when something that strange and funny can exist.
As we shuffle into the Visy Theatre at Brisbane’s Powerhouse, Thin Lizzy’s ‘The Boys are Back in Town’ is turned up to 11.
A fitting prelude to 60 minutes of high-energy hilarity presented by The Travelling Sisters and their unique show ‘Thy Thus ‘Twas’.
If you think the name is a little on the weird and wacky side, wait ‘til you see the cast of three jump, gyrate, berate, sing, dance, “act”, break up, make up and ultimately triumph at that shrine to all things Strine, the local RSL.
The Travelling Sisters are three, young, flexible and ridiculously talented women not afraid to embrace their inner bogan and present young, suburban Australian manhood in all its glory, all while wearing mullet wigs and one very skew-whiff fake moustache.
Except these suburban boys are different, sure they love their mums, a cold glass of choccy milk and skylarking, but they see themselves as true blue thespians wanting to take their audience on a “journey” using little more than theatre whites and a gold tarp.
Darryl is the mad capped ringleader.
He is the visionary and the ADHD-fuelled Berrick and slightly thick and serious Vinnie, his devotees.
The boys’ mums make an excellent counterbalance, Darryl’s mum is a siren straight out of The Box, while Berrick’s Zen mum is anything but—she’s wound tighter than a lululemon yoga mat.
Vinnie’s mum is a burnt chop beauty, recognisable in every footy club from Collingwood to Cairns.
The Sisters play the boys and their mums, requiring lightning-fast costume and attitude changes.
A few minor slips just add to the zaniness.
As the Sisters put it: “This show is niche”.
And it is, but it’s also incredibly funny, original and full of pathos.
“Niche weird shit” is an apt description from the performers of this energetic and distinctly Australian comedy.
Channelling the hopes and dreams of wannabe actors, the story focuses on the friendship of three dudes – Darryl, Berrick and Vinnie – as they prepare to perform a play written by the ever-convincing ringleader, Daryl.
The boys still live with their mums and the quick character changes between son and mother showcase the acting skills of The Travelling Sisters.
The opening scene was a slightly confusing but highly amusing introduction to the characters, although I’m not sure that it really fits in with the rest of the story.
But from the get-go, the show produced a rolling cluster of giggles, snorts and uncontrollable laughter from the audience – a good sign for any comedian.
Glorious mullets, three very different yet strangely familiar mothers, a dramatic scene full of hilariously gruesome humour and cries of “shoot me again Darryl”, and the seemingly never-ending quest to borrow the gold tarp were highlights for me.
Brisbane Immersive Ensemble’s contemporary version of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ portrayed a twisted tale of love and hypnotism in a flurry of enchanted pandemonium.
Although, it seemed confusing and somewhat chaotic to start with, what unfolded was a delightful comedy of events.
When the show started outside and the performers were all part of the audience I wasn’t sure what to expect.
It was a spectacle like I’d never seen before and truly interactive, with my husband taking a call from one of the ex-boyfriends, who ended up being a main character.
There were story plots, layered hilarious characters performing a play, sword swallowing, dancing, comedy, music and numerous other carnie conundrums happening all at once and building into one side-splitting culmination.
The story revealed four young lovers tangled together by a meddlesome hypnotist to the tunes of fabulous gypsy jazz musicians.
We found ourselves following the characters from room to room waiting for the next unexpected piece of the pie.
Loved the Shakespearean dialect fused with comedic improvisation.
The Powerhouse venue is one I always love, however no air-conditioning in the Queensland summer heat did detract from the wonderful performances surrounding us.
I was grateful for the fans and water, but would have enjoyed it so much more if the venue was air-conditioned.
Overall it was a fabulous, unusual routine that I thoroughly enjoyed and would highly recommend.
I’d actually love to see it again as there was so much going on I think the second time around I’d choose different rooms to be in to see a completely altered version.