Reviewed By Erin Hill
Tripod have performed at 25 Melbourne International Comedy Festivals, an admirable feat which speaks to both their musical and comedic finesse. For fans of this trio (Scod, Yon and Gatesy) and the work they produce this show will be sure to delight. However, for those who have seen Tripod before and felt they could take or leave it, this new show is unlikely to generate a different response.
I’ll out myself as a Tripod fan, during my final years of high-school and the more formative years of YouTube I found myself devouring clips of their songs and performances; humming along to the catchy earworms while trying to understand the books of the Bronte sisters and higher-level trigonometry. I’ll confess, I felt a gentle flutter of excitement as I walked into The Famous Speigeltent, all velour and stained-glass splendour, ready to watch Tripod perform. In the end, I walked out with the sense that more than just the décor felt dated.
From an open letter to white supremacists to balk the appropriation of a common hand gesture, to the glossing over of Gatesy’s experience of being single and childless during lockdown to pivot to a song where Scod and Yon attempt to wingman him; it felt like there was room for so much more depth to the comedy. To completely neglect the context that they brought up themselves in the name of “funny for the sake of funny”, I think the material has to be sufficiently funny. And I don’t know that it was.
That’s not to say it wasn’t cleverly written and wonderfully performed. The wordplay was witty, the music masterfully performed and the opportunities to clap along were taken up by the audience with gusto. Similarly, the relationship between the three performers was played out pleasingly, with Yon’s ability to inject pathos a particular delight. However, on multiple occasions the-between-song-banter culminated in a cheap dick joke; which harked back to the ultimate tone of the show; three (forty-nine-year-old) teenage boys giggling as they type boobies into a calculator.
If you like Tripod in particular, and musical comedy more generally, then you should see this show. Tripod are wonderful performers with a well-oiled, if juvenile, comedic tone. If you prefer to see comedy that takes a less superficial approach to the context in which it exists, then maybe this twenty-fifth outing of Tripod’s is not the show for you.
Tripod like many others have had to cancel some performances, they will perform at The Famous Spiegeltent at Arts Centre Melbourne April 22 – 24