By Colin Flaherty
Playing versions of themselves comedian Matt Dyktynski and musician Bang Mango Cools are Edible Pets, a band on the brink of collapse. The setting is backstage at a Pokies venue where the boys are preparing for their final gig. The tale of the band’s existence is told through flashbacks where each gig ends in disaster (usually due to the actions of one individual), bringing up yet another bad memory associated with their planned set list.
The amusingly bitter banter between the two is the focus of the humour and the script contains plenty of amusing barbs and comments. Most impressive was Cools’ stagecraft and comedic timing (I assume he is a relative newcomer to the comedy caper) that it sometimes threatens to upstage the veteran Dyktynski. It certain helps that Matt gives a great portrayal of a slightly repugnant and egotistical fellow so that Bang Mango’s character is allowed to shine as the likable one.
The numerous flashback sequences are fun. With a slight costume change and silly wig we are transported to a doomed gig from their history. We not only get a humourous situation involving the naivety of the boys but jokes making fun of the time period itself. There are plenty of historical references to raise a smile with those of a similar vintage (the younger folk can always Google them later). The use of identical motifs to end each of these scenes is a nice touch of comedic repetition.
The sound and lighting design works brilliantly in lieu of a changing set. Chatter/heckling from the gig punters and the venue PA Announcements create atmosphere and help progress the story beautifully.
Unlike other comedy shows about bands, they resist the urge to fill the show with humorous songs. There are a couple of parodies that tie in with the narrative but for the most part the songs are serious tunes that are impressive with Cools’ demonstrating his virtuosity on the guitar. This is successful at creating a sense of hope amongst the impending doom but this is at the expense of laughs.
The Farewell Tour is a fun theatre piece with strong performances. It isn’t quite a continuous tidal wave of laughs but there is enough here to keep you chuckling along at all the misfortune.
Edible Pets: The Farewell Tour is on at The Victoria Hotel