By Will Erskine
Regular attendees of the comedy festival, including myself, often recommend seeing something you’ve never heard of before. Something you’re unfamiliar with and maybe even something that “doesn’t sound like your cup of tea”. Those who book tickets to the same acts every year often baulk at the idea of booking tickets to see something you’ve never heard of, but they miss out on the single greatest joy of the comedy festival and festivals in general.
I entered the Motley Bauhaus, a small theatre space in Fitzroy North well off the beaten path of the comedy festival, with no expectations. I was seeing Daydream, written and performed by Con Coutis and Charlie Hill, directed by the former. A show that had piqued my curiosity initially due to its early evening timeslot and geographic convenience to my home and evening Yoga class.
I was somehow struck by a feeling that the show I was about to see was going to be one of two extremes, it would either be uncompromisingly awful or a masterpiece. The first 30 minutes or so of punchy dialog, clever scripting, self-referential call-backs and excellent physical comedy left me almost desperate for a moment’s respite from the laughs. While it felt like there was a slight let-up in the dizzying quality of the performance for a couple of minutes around the halfway mark, it was momentary, and it might have just been self-preservation kicking in so I didn’t die from laughing too much. Daydream delivered one of the slickest, fastest paced and funniest hours of comedy I have seen for quite a number of years.
The highlight of the performance for me was one of the most genuine slow-builds rounds of applause I’ve ever witnessed as various members of the audience realise the punchline to the scene a few moments before it has been delivered. A quality yarn indeed.
It’s hard to pin-down exactly what Daydream is, it’s part play, part sketch show with, as they say themselves, “just a hint of stand-up”. The crucial thing is that it’s incredibly well written, clever and most of all hilarious. If I were to choose the target audience, I’d say those who enjoy word-play and sketch comedy will be in their element here, however I’d recommend this show to anyone and everyone who will listen. They have already sold out their all-to-brief run at Melbourne International Comedy Festival but make a note of these two as Daydream deserves to play for more people at a later date. Without doubt a couple of comedic stars at the start of their careers.
Take a risk, get involved, go and see Daydream and whatever Con Coutis and Charlie Hill do next.
Daydream plays at The Motley Bauhaus until March 31st