By Noel Kelso
Wrongtown duo Rose Sejean & Claire Bowman return to the Melbourne Comedy Festival for a second year with a further selection songs and sketches touching on subjects as diverse as problematic travel tickets, lingerie league and celebrity chefs.
The performers prowl the stage, skewering their targets with sharp wit, perfect pitch and vibrant colours. Cabaret show Wrongtown Wednesdays, is a tour of all those places in life which are just that bit not quite right.
If Bob Fosse had written slapstick in Melbourne, then something like Wrongtown might have been the result. The songs use well known tunes and wrap them around fresh lyrics poking fun at familiar targets such as public transport, Geelong and Bogan drinking habits.
The audience were kept laughing throughout by the risque humour, which – as the name of the show intimates – may occasionally have been considered tasteless. One gag managed to provoke a ‘Too soon’ response from the audience. Unfortunately aside from that one comment about the lost Malasian plane, the material is not really as shocking or offensive as some of the other, more established acts might perform. Of course- what one person might consider an ordinary if amusing gag, might scandalise another, but really, prime time ABC TV contains more shocking concepts.
In contrast to their 2013 show, this production included a higher proportion of video and sketch material – some of it more successful than others. The local news segments hit their targets with pinpoint accuracy and garnered plenty of laughs, but other segments – such as one lampooning the way celebrity chefs try to make food sexualised – garnered mild chuckles at best.
If you are a bit of a wallflower, then Wrongtown is not the place for you as two unsuspecting members of the audience were picked to join the performers on stage in a sketch about a TV dating show which proved one of the funniest pieces in the whole show. For a first night, the pacing was good but will no doubt tighten as the season progresses.
There are only four shows of Wrongtown during the festival – all on Wednesdays – so if you want to see them, best plan in advance.
Wrongtown Wednesdays With Wrongtown is on at the Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place every Wednesday until April 16