By Elyce Phillips
Josh Earl, Damien Lawlor and Kirsten Law of 3RR’s Lime Champions have put together a suitably left-of-field collection of sketches in Lime Champions’ Nightmare Tales. The conceit of the show is that the audience has fallen asleep immediately upon entering the venue and what we witness are a series of night terrors. What ensue are five Twilight Zone-esque tales designed to amuse and terrify.
The combination of horror and humour was interesting and worked with varying degrees of success. Nightmare Tales isn’t a laugh-a-minute kind of show. Every now and then, the stories will take an unexpectedly dark turn and this made the audience uneasy – but I suspect this is what the team was after.
Like any sketch show, some of the sketches worked better than others. The shorter, snappier stories in the middle of show had a tendency to be more comedy-minded. Lawlor’s solo piece wherein he attempts to call an automated phone sex hotline was far and away my pick of the bunch. The final sketch, involving a rather extensive poop joke had its moments, but wasn’t a great way to close out the night. The atmosphere in the room flagged a little in the more ‘serious’ parts of the stories, but when it came around to the comedy, these guys shone. The trio work well together and there were some nice gags played out with some pre-recorded material.
‘Nightmare Tales’ started out as part of the Fringe Festival and it’s probably best to view it in that mindset. It’s not “hard comedy” like many shows in the Comedy Festival. If you’re looking for something a little different, Lime Champions’ Nightmare Tales could be the show for you. It’s a quirky and creepy offering from some talented local comedians.
Lime Champions’ Nightmare Tales is on in the Lunch Room at Melbourne Town Hall, Mondays until April 15.