Two men named David get very weird in this late-night offering from Sam Simmons and Dr Brown (Phil Burgers). It’s a show that feels impossibly packed full of nonsense, like a Mary Poppins bag crammed with silly. There’s violence and nudity, shouting and destruction, but there is also love and some truly novel uses for food. Ceremony is messy, anarchic and quite possibly the most fun you can have at the festival.
The show breaks down common rituals and exposes our odd behaviours within them by taking a variety of ceremonies to the extreme, from the euphoric highs of an awards night to the emotional lows of a funeral. These events become absurd in the hands of Simmons and Burgers. It is complete mayhem. Audience members are hauled from their seats and manhandled into participation. Even when you think you’re safe, Dr Brown could appear out of nowhere and empty an entire box of cereal over your head. I had so many Coco Pops lodged in my clothing that I left a Hansel and Gretel-esque trail through the city on the way home. Every moment of Ceremony is surprising and hilarious. The audience got so into the final moments that Sam and Dr Brown eventually had to yell at us all to leave the venue.
Simmons and Burgers are two of the most inventive comedians working today and seeing them play together is incredible. Ceremony takes the most out-there aspects of both performers’ repertoires and pushes them even further. There are moments where you feel genuine fear and concern that someone is going to sustain an injury or choke on too much bread. I spent equal amounts of time laughing and clutching at my partner’s arm in awe. There are scenes in this show that will be forever etched into my memory. It’s this dangerous territory that makes Ceremony so incredibly funny. As the show progresses, you rapidly realise that there is no physical limit to what these men are willing to do, and it makes for a live comedy experience that is like no other.
Ceremony is an amazing piece of comedy from two ridiculously talented people. It’s on for one more night, so catch it if you can.
Sam Simmons and Dr Brown – Ceremony is on at Melbourne town Hall until April 5