By Lisa Clark
It’s hard to believe that Annie and Lena have been working as a sketch comedy team for only two years. Their debut at Melbourne Fringe in 2019 felt like they’d been doing it for years. It was an introduction and exploration of their talents, whereas in This is Our show they are more assured in where their strengths lay and how their relationship works on stage.
A lot of water has run under the bridge since Fringe 2019 and they have reworked the whole show, dropping the TV theme (who’s watching TV these days?) while keeping some of the best sketches. This is Our Show is themed around mental illness which appears to be inspired by Lena’s adult diagnosis of ADHD. The theme brings extra poignancy to some of their best sketches such as embarrassing Boomer Mum giving a drunken speech at her daughter’s graduation from Women’s Studies and their take on Homer’s soul sucking Sirens.
The new sketch highlights this year include Bogan farmers talking about their love of “digging holes”, the weird awkwardness of bra fittings, a chirpy song about accidentally running over your pets and the “Red Flag Twist” a song and dance number about dating dodgy men. The other joy was just the in between banter between the two. Having fun on stage, despite some serious technical issues (their first night in a new space) and their impro skills shone through as they quipped about things going wrong. I also loved them bringing out the “Funny or Depressing?” score board, where the audience gets to vote and see previous votes. It would’ve been nice to have this up the back through the whole show and have a running tally of selected sketches.
It’s great to see women teaming up into double acts and killing it. Annie is dark and sardonic trying desperately to keep the show on track while Lena is the bumbling, chirpy one they play many different roles well, but it is when they are being themselves that they really shine. Looking forward to more from these two.
This Is Our Show has finished it’s run
By Lisa Clark
In a Fringe Festival full of weird and crazy things, it’s almost refreshing to sit down to a good old-fashioned sketch comedy show. Annie Lumsden and Lena Moon in their first outing as a duo prove to be so good at it, that they make it seem effortless.
This Is Our Pilot is about two friends pitching their ideas for a TV show to an invisible “Mr Big TV Man” but it’s really about poking fun at TV shows and friendship. The theme song from Friends is playing as house music. (what is the sudden obsession with this long extinct sitcom?) There is quite a nostalgic vibe to the sketches, like a cross between Fast Forward and Big Girls Blouse, where a lot of them would sit nicely. The great thing about mainstream TV is that it’s a shared cultural experience. Even if you don’t watch Love Island you know what it is because you have seen the adverts or cross promotions or heard people talking/joking about it and so Annie & Lena can do a sketch knowing that we will all get the joke of it, which they set in Greek Mythology with the girls playing Sirens.
Sketches send up Gardening shows, game shows (Millionaire), Marie Kondo (“Organise your Shit”), Queer Eye, a music show which is used to introduce a song about working in a café and café culture on the Ukulele played by Annie and Sunrise and its dreadful advertorials. “Blend Her” was a particularly hilarious advertorial send up using real portable blenders on stage. A highlight for me was “Toilet Roulette” which was a hilarious disgusting dissection of a social taboo, demonstrating how terrifying public toilets can be.
The pair have a lovely rapport and perform brilliantly as a team. Annie tends to be the Straight person / person in authority and Lena the 2nd Banana / silly one. They prove that classic comedy tropes can still work and even manage to make a fart joke that feels fresh. Under all the accessible, charming silliness is an obvious politically awareness that remains feminist while also exploring how female relationships can occasionally be toxic.
I needn’t say ‘hit and miss’ because you can say this about any sketch comedy, including Python. The laugh rate for This Is Our Pilot is impressively high. This is a very strong debut and is recommended to any Mr Big type TV People out there looking for new up and coming comedy talent.
Annie Lumsden and Lena Moon perform This Is Our Pilot at The Coopers Inn til Sept 27
1: Boy oh boy, we can’t wait to share with you all the reasons to see This Is Our Pilot!
2: Just 5 reasons! Wow, better think of the very best ones so people get excited to see This Is Our Pilot!
3: We reckon we could come up with way more than 5! Our creativity is endless!
5: We’ve made a huge financial commitment and decided against all advice to self produce we’ve really found ourselves in quite the pickle not to sound desperate but ok we’re desperate even with selling 30% of seating our losses are not even close to covered also Annie’s mum isn’t coming out of spite because she told her performance was not a viable career But mum it’s just for fun we’re having fun ok mum fine you got us are you happy now if you’re still reading this psychotic ramble please you have to buy a ticket full price and one for a friend too you owe us come on please we’re so sorry for yelling we’ve just been under a bit of stress because we are creating and performing a Fringe Festival show at Coopers Inn called This Is Our Pilot.
Annie Lumsden and Lena Moon perform This Is Our Pilot at Coopers Inn Sept 20 – 27
By Elyce Phillips
Dairy Kweenz (Colwyn Buckland, Taylor Griffiths, Jess Hagan, Filip Lescaut and Lena Moon) are an up-and-coming sketch group based in Melbourne, regularly performing improv at The Improv Conspiracy. Normal Human Responses is their second show, following on from their Fringe Festival debut last year. It’s an entertaining hour, filled with bold characters and plenty of laughs.
Each member of Dairy Kweenz is given their chance to shine in Normal Human Responses. They all prove to be adept at playing big, absurd characters and their foils. A sketch in which Moon played a character who was extremely excited to get a hot toddy was an absolute stand-out. Buckland was also wonderful as a deranged lawyer in a Serial parody sketch. Lescaut was at his best when he was given room to rant. A sketch in which he produced ever more absurd examples of what “most gay men are like” was particularly great. Hagan was more subtle in her performances, playing the straight characters beautifully.
There’s no one theme that ties all of the sketches together, but a thread that does continue through the show is a doctor character performed by Griffiths, who is conducting experiments into various “normal” emotions. The video segments worked well and added some variety to the show.
As with most sketch comedy, the material in Normal Human Responses has its peaks and valleys. The bulk of the show was wonderfully funny, however, some sections ran a little long and it was difficult to hear the quieter lines as the performers were not using mics. The overall pacing of the show was great, though, with higher energy sketches scattered right throughout to keep the audience excited.
Normal Human Responses is a fine second outing from Dairy Kweenz and shows they have staying power as a sketch group. If you’re a fan of sketch comedy, it’s well worth catching this show during its short run.
Dairy Kweenz – Normal Human Responses is on at Speakeasy HQ until April 22
By Elyce Philips
Although we try and put our best face out in the world, when we look down deep inside, we’re all a bit garbage sometimes. In Human Garbage, Dairy Kweenz (Colwyn Buckland, Taylor Griffiths, Filip Lescaut and Lena Moon) play a cavalcade of characters that represent some of our crummier traits, and you can’t help but laugh as you shamefully relate to them all. It’s a hilarious hour of sketch that will leave you wanting to see more of their misguided creations.
The sketches in Human Garbage are loosely tied together by theme, but the one thing they’ve all got in common is a dedication to strong characters, played with nuance. Buckland, Griffiths, Lescaut and Moon throw themselves into their roles, whether it be a rude businessman, an overly strident feminist or a rapping psychologist.
The most successful pieces didn’t rely on set-ups and punch-lines, but rather had their strength in creating a person on the stage and finding the laughs in the specifics. A sketch satirising big banks trying to win over LGBTI customers – in particular taking aim at ANZ’s “GAYTM” campaign – was an absolute winner. Lescaut’s rendition of a bank manager was pitch-perfect, sitting in an awkward grey area between boasting about his tolerance and attempting to hide his total discomfort.
The show is an impressive effort for a group that only formed at the start of the year. These four performers have the chemistry of a far more seasoned act. Dairy Kweens will be doing a regular spot at the Improv Conspiracy once the Fringe Festival is over, and if Human Garbage is anything to go by, this is a group worth keeping an eye on.
Dairy Kweenz – Human Garbage is on at the Improv Conspiracy Theatre until September 23
1 – We’re emerging comedians and would love to get some exposure and constructive feedback
2 – We’re a mildly diverse team of four and we all had a hand in sketches, so we hope we’ve ended up with a good array of styles and topics
3 – Literally no audience participation! we might be emerging but we know enough to know everyone hates that. so you can chill out and take your shoes off!
4 – It’s only $10! So you can spend the rest on authentic Dairy Kweenz merch! (we’ll be auctioning off our costumes later)
5 – We don’t think it’s funny anymore because we rehearsed it so many times, but we remember when we thought it was funny so we hope you will too.
Human Garbage is by Dairy Kweenz who are Colwyn Buckland, Taylor Griffiths, Filip Lescaut, Lena Moon & Ivy Latimer)
It is on at The Improv Conspiracy Sept 14 – 23