Dazza & Keif Go Viral

By Lisa Clark 

Dazza & Keif are a couple of young blokes who just want lots of hot chicks and fame as B-boys but don’t really have the talent or the brains to get either. They are actually being expertly played by Keely Windred and Danni Ray who, as experienced Drag Kings, have got the characters down pat and are having a ball exploring gender, sexuality and male mateship through hip hop.

The show opens with the guys showing how obsessed they are with dicks and how anything can look like a dick. It goes on a bit too long, but that’s perfectly in keeping with their dumb personas pushing their agendas (and dicks) into the faces of others without caring about their audience. They are in Dazza’s living room (a sort of “Mom’s Basement” vibe) creating videos of their dance moves that they hope will go viral on line and make them famous. The show at times has a sort of Wayne’s World feel about it with a darker edge.

The character of Dazza is a Dazzaling creation of boorish, ignorant, bullying misogyny, there is very little to like in the character. At times genuinely intimidating he’s the sort of creep you might cross the street to avoid. So part of my problem with the show is; do I want to spend an hour listening to this jerk on stage, even though I know it’s satire and he’s being played by a very talented woman? It can be a little triggering when you’ve grown up around guys like this. It can also be freeing to be able to laugh openly at his stupid self-destructive behaviour. Luckily there is also the little side kick, as there often is. The nicer one who makes you wonder ‘Why does he hang out with that dick who treats him like shit?’ and Keif’s character softens the show somewhat and helps keep you engaged. Keif is another beautifully realised character who is able to have some nuance unlike Dazza wouldn’t know nuance if it bit him in the arse.

The other two characters played by Keely and Danni who pop up throughout are Prue-and-Trude-type snooty newsreaders Amber and Amanda. They show the versatility of the performers and add to the awe for the audience that these wildly different characters could be played by the same people. The costumes throughout are truly fabulous and the tech spot on.

A highlight of the show is a guest performer in a big group dance number – it was a great way to end the show with the boys stepping back a little to appreciate the talent of a woman, then joining in and the audience cheering for all of them. But unfortunately, that was not the end of the show. It felt like a mistake not to end the show on the high of that moment. Though I do get that Dazza and Keif would make that mistake and want to make the finale all about themselves alone.

This show, though a different beast, reminded me somewhat of the work of  Sista She, the brilliant comedy rap duo that started the careers of Candy Bowers and Sarah Ward (who performs as Yana Alana) in the early 2000s. Hopefully the talented Keely and Dani will also have career longevity as they are already building a strong fanbase. If you’ve ever wanted to sit back and laugh at the ridiculousness of dumb alpha-male wannabees, saying and doing idiotic things through B-boying being performed by two incredibly talented women this is the show for you.

Dazza & Keif Go Viral is on at The Coopers Malthouse til Apr 7