By Colin Flaherty
The Late Night Party Boyz (Ross Purdy and Damien Vosk) bill themselves as absurdist sketch which is not far off the mark. In this not so late show they throw everything at the wall, some of it sticks while the rest leaves you scratching you head. Their high energy performance ensures you won’t be bored.
The advertised theme of rebellion kinda fit this collection of sketches that went in all sorts of surprising directions. Scenes regularly overshot their natural conclusions just so they could club us over the head with some social commentary even though this was repeating what we had already seen in the body of the sketch. There was plenty of cartoon violence complete with wacky sound effects and grotesque characters to chuckle at. Video segments with comically underwhelming punchlines were very repetitive, which was by design but not a joy to sit through.
Things regularly got meta with sketches discussing the scenes we had just witnessed. Offhand comments and rants about the tropes and shortcomings of sketch shows were a none too subtle wink to the audience combined with a slap to the face.
Audience participation varied from being warm bodies for them to project back-stories onto through to somewhat embarrassing situations usually involving foodstuffs. The “Mr Ice cream” sketch was fascinating to witness as it was so creepy from the outset that absolutely everyone was reluctant to play along. It’s a good thing they had some amusing patter and an additional character to throw on stage to fill in the very long time before the action could proceeded.
Purdy and Vosk played everything big and bold, bringing this cavalcade of weirdos to life. They certainly weren’t afraid of looking foolish for the sake of a laugh and we readily giggled at the degrading things they did to one another. The debris left on the stage at the end was an apt reminder of how the duo had given their all to entertain.
If you like it freaky, messy and too clever for it’s own good, you’ll have a grand time at this hour of lunacy.
Rebel Without Applause is on at The Tickle Pit at The Croft Intitute until April 20
1) Damien has a background in improv and stand up, so if he forgets his lines he can just adlib his way out of it. Once during rehearsal, his adlibbing ended up turning the show into Death of a Salesman. Briefly considered just doing that show instead. Ross is just some guy off the street.
2) Damien & Ross have won the award for ‘Most Handsomest Well-Behaved Boys You’d Feel Comfortable Taking Home To Your Mum”. And as we all know, awards are never not a high indicator of quality. Always. Always. Always
3) Rejected sketches for the show include “Damien & Ross Meet Frankenstein’s Ghost”, “Damien & Ross Punch Malcolm Turnbull Way Up In The Guts”, “Fried Rice Pregnancy”, “Damien and Ross Visit the Doctors But Whoops Turns Out the Doctor Isn’t Qualified and Isn’t Very Smart” – if hot comedy gold like that was thrown into the dumpster fire of rejection, just imagine what they’d spit up on stage for their show.
4) Alternative sketch comedy written, produced and starring two silly hamboys who worked extra hard to make the funny ha-has for you all. If you hate this show, you hate joy and happiness.
5) This show IS 2016. A comedy show for millennials. Absurdity and gross out humour in place of wit, baby! It’s what the young people want It’s a way of channeling our Gen-Y frustration you old folks! Intelligence? Intelligence is for smart people! If you don’t get our hip n’ happening references,, just go back to listening to ABC National Radio old timers. Punk rock! If you don’t like it, don’t come. But please come.
Damien & Ross in Safari Psychosis opens September 15th and goes til the 23rd at 7:15pm (No show Wednesday) at Tuxedo Cat
By Elyce Phillips
Some people are remarkably unremarkable – no distinguishing features, no enormously “quirky” character traits. Just perfectly average people that you’d pass in the street and wouldn’t think twice about. Damien Vosk is one of those people and in The Average he looks at his over-tolerant interactions with some of the weirder people of the world.
The first half of Vosk’s set is strong, delving into the hodge-podge of jobs he’s had while pursuing his comedic acting career. Vosk’s delivery is likeable and his stories are deeply relatable – just about everyone remembers what it was like to work a crappy job while striving for something greater. He made a good effort to cajole some energy into a timid audience, bringing in some elements of crowd work. A series of tales about his time as a bin salesman were a highlight, ending in a group prayer that brought the audience together and had them chuckling.
The second half of the show fell flat by comparison. Jokes about the perils of Internet dating and hipsters were fine, but didn’t offer a lot by way of a unique perspective. The energy never regained the peaks of the first half, making the 55-minute run time feel drawn out, despite many of the jokes being perfectly funny. The issue here was one of structure – a top heavy opening dominating over the gentler laughs of the remainder.
Overall, it’s a good debut from Vosk. The highs of the show prove that he has solid stand-up skills. With some greater attention paid to pacing and structure, Vosk has the potential to do great things in the future. The Average is a promising opening gambit.
Damien Vosk – The Average has finished its MICF season
1. It’s Damien Vosk’s first full standup show so regardless if it’s a success or absolute disaster it will be fun to watch!
2. The Average may teach you how to pass yourself off as normal, whatever that means!
3. The show contains jokes many of which will make you laugh.
4. It will answer questions you never even knew you had about topics of potential relevance.
5. You may convince Damien’s parent’s he’s not wasting his life!
Damien Vosk’s The Average is on at The Improv Conspiracy Office
For more info go to the MICF website:
1. If you’ve ever wondered what happened to Damien Vosk that nice kid that used to hang around here.
2. If you’ve ever thought to yourself what would a cool person do in this situation and realised that because you’re thinking that you’re never going to be cool.
3. If you’ve ever wondered how some people function in polite society.
4. If you’ve been a constant disappointment to your family!
5. If you’re convinced this is all art.
Lizard by Damien Vosk is on at The Courthouse Hotel 22-25 Sept