By Lisa Clark
It’s hard to believe that Annie and Lena have been working as a sketch comedy team for only two years. Their debut at Melbourne Fringe in 2019 felt like they’d been doing it for years. It was an introduction and exploration of their talents, whereas in This is Our show they are more assured in where their strengths lay and how their relationship works on stage.
A lot of water has run under the bridge since Fringe 2019 and they have reworked the whole show, dropping the TV theme (who’s watching TV these days?) while keeping some of the best sketches. This is Our Show is themed around mental illness which appears to be inspired by Lena’s adult diagnosis of ADHD. The theme brings extra poignancy to some of their best sketches such as embarrassing Boomer Mum giving a drunken speech at her daughter’s graduation from Women’s Studies and their take on Homer’s soul sucking Sirens.
The new sketch highlights this year include Bogan farmers talking about their love of “digging holes”, the weird awkwardness of bra fittings, a chirpy song about accidentally running over your pets and the “Red Flag Twist” a song and dance number about dating dodgy men. The other joy was just the in between banter between the two. Having fun on stage, despite some serious technical issues (their first night in a new space) and their impro skills shone through as they quipped about things going wrong. I also loved them bringing out the “Funny or Depressing?” score board, where the audience gets to vote and see previous votes. It would’ve been nice to have this up the back through the whole show and have a running tally of selected sketches.
It’s great to see women teaming up into double acts and killing it. Annie is dark and sardonic trying desperately to keep the show on track while Lena is the bumbling, chirpy one they play many different roles well, but it is when they are being themselves that they really shine. Looking forward to more from these two.
This Is Our Show has finished it’s run
By Lisa Clark
In a Fringe Festival full of weird and crazy things, it’s almost refreshing to sit down to a good old-fashioned sketch comedy show. Annie Lumsden and Lena Moon in their first outing as a duo prove to be so good at it, that they make it seem effortless.
This Is Our Pilot is about two friends pitching their ideas for a TV show to an invisible “Mr Big TV Man” but it’s really about poking fun at TV shows and friendship. The theme song from Friends is playing as house music. (what is the sudden obsession with this long extinct sitcom?) There is quite a nostalgic vibe to the sketches, like a cross between Fast Forward and Big Girls Blouse, where a lot of them would sit nicely. The great thing about mainstream TV is that it’s a shared cultural experience. Even if you don’t watch Love Island you know what it is because you have seen the adverts or cross promotions or heard people talking/joking about it and so Annie & Lena can do a sketch knowing that we will all get the joke of it, which they set in Greek Mythology with the girls playing Sirens.
Sketches send up Gardening shows, game shows (Millionaire), Marie Kondo (“Organise your Shit”), Queer Eye, a music show which is used to introduce a song about working in a café and café culture on the Ukulele played by Annie and Sunrise and its dreadful advertorials. “Blend Her” was a particularly hilarious advertorial send up using real portable blenders on stage. A highlight for me was “Toilet Roulette” which was a hilarious disgusting dissection of a social taboo, demonstrating how terrifying public toilets can be.
The pair have a lovely rapport and perform brilliantly as a team. Annie tends to be the Straight person / person in authority and Lena the 2nd Banana / silly one. They prove that classic comedy tropes can still work and even manage to make a fart joke that feels fresh. Under all the accessible, charming silliness is an obvious politically awareness that remains feminist while also exploring how female relationships can occasionally be toxic.
I needn’t say ‘hit and miss’ because you can say this about any sketch comedy, including Python. The laugh rate for This Is Our Pilot is impressively high. This is a very strong debut and is recommended to any Mr Big type TV People out there looking for new up and coming comedy talent.
Annie Lumsden and Lena Moon perform This Is Our Pilot at The Coopers Inn til Sept 27
1: Boy oh boy, we can’t wait to share with you all the reasons to see This Is Our Pilot!
2: Just 5 reasons! Wow, better think of the very best ones so people get excited to see This Is Our Pilot!
3: We reckon we could come up with way more than 5! Our creativity is endless!
5: We’ve made a huge financial commitment and decided against all advice to self produce we’ve really found ourselves in quite the pickle not to sound desperate but ok we’re desperate even with selling 30% of seating our losses are not even close to covered also Annie’s mum isn’t coming out of spite because she told her performance was not a viable career But mum it’s just for fun we’re having fun ok mum fine you got us are you happy now if you’re still reading this psychotic ramble please you have to buy a ticket full price and one for a friend too you owe us come on please we’re so sorry for yelling we’ve just been under a bit of stress because we are creating and performing a Fringe Festival show at Coopers Inn called This Is Our Pilot.
Annie Lumsden and Lena Moon perform This Is Our Pilot at Coopers Inn Sept 20 – 27