When you’re a kid, everything’s easy. A big van comes round to your school and a puppet tells you how to live your life. You’re sorted. But as an adult, puppet-based life advice is sorely lacking, and that’s where WATSON (Tegan Higginbotham, Adam McKenzie and Liam Ryan) come in. In The Life Education Van for Adults, WATSON tackle the big issues we face as grown-ups – relationships, sex, employment – and give questionable tips on how to get by, via the magic of sketch comedy.
The trio had a difficult task this year, following on from the success of Who’s Afraid of the Dark?, their very successful Melbourne Gaol show. The Life Education Van for Adults is simpler in its staging and scope, but just as hilarious. We see snippets of the show they do for schools, tips for the adults in the room and some flashbacks that show how they became the people they are today. Linking everything together is a story about the group being stuck in the desert that provides great opportunity to showcase their superb comedic relationship. Higginbotham, McKenzie and Ryan are equally strong performers, each taking a turn at being the most ridiculous person on stage.
WATSON are a group of performers that look like they’re having an enormous amount of fun, and that energy is infectious. Their sketches are witty and sharply-written, but performed in a slightly shambolic way that makes them feel off-the-cuff. Higginbotham, McKenzie and Ryan deliver the laughs the whole way through, with particular highlights being a section on life hacks and a sketch about dating in the modern era, told with Jane Austen-style sensibilities.
The Life Education van for Adults is highly entertaining, wonderfully silly, and if you do a little googling at home, possibly very educational. Get in fast if you’re keen to check it out, as shows have been selling out.
WATSON – The Life Education Van for Adults! is on at Melbourne Town Hall’s Backstage Room until April 16