5. The Duo: Innes Lloyd: Innes Lloyd have been performing their brand of nerdy homages at the Melbourne Comedy Festival since 2015. Starting as an improv duo with Innes Lloyd Men of Your Dreams, they have evolved into spinners of genre-bending yarns. In 2017, they incorporated every adaptation of the Jules Verne classic Journey to the Centre of the Earth into a rollicking hour show. Innes Lloyd adapted Dracula in 2019 and wrote and performed an original sequel, Mina Harker Monster Doctor in 2021, both featuring the wonderful Jennifer Speirs as Mina. In between festivals, they are seen doing one-off tribute shows celebrating nerdy anniversaries such as the 40th anniversary of The Muppet Movie‘s release and the 50th birthday of Monty Python’s Flying Circus.
4. The Venue: The Butterfly Club is a bustling hub of exciting, alternative comedy. There are tonnes of amazing shows throughout the festival. Why not get a drink at the fabulous cocktail bar and plonk yourself down for an evening and enjoy the names-before-they-become-names.
3. The Story: Everyone has done parodies and comedy shows satirising James Bond for decades. Nobody needs to see another pseudo-Austin Powers cabaret. A Bond Among Us instead explores the life of the villains. Why does a person become a Henchman? Is it just the money? Or is it a devotion? In this show, we explore the rise and fall of Upper Hand, a henchman who grew up with one sole purpose: to kill James Bond.
2. The Fabulous Cast: Joining Innes Lloyd for this show are Seon Williams and Louisa Fitzhardinge. Seon is a brilliant theatre, television and film actor who has come straight from Scott Middleton’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream to lead this production as our lead character: the Henchman Upper Hand. Louisa is a talented singer, actor and improviser who is no stranger to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Her solo show, Comma Sutra, was nominated for Best Cabaret at the Perth World Fringe Festival. She can be seen in the long running improvised mystery play at the Butterfly Club: Murder Village.
1. The Best Nerdy Alternative To Stand Up: Do you enjoy cinematic homages? Do you enjoy learning Fun Facts? Are you looking for a fun evening without being yelled at or belittled for sitting in the front row by some guy in a flannelette shirt? Then this is the show for you!
Innes Lloyd perform A Bond Among Us at The Butterfly Club Apr 11-17 at 7pm
1. It’s a sequel…but it’s also completely stand-alone.
Mina Harker: Monster Doctor is actually a follow-up show to Innes Lloyd’s SELL-OUT smash-hit Dracula from last year’s MICF. So popular was our retelling of the literary classic that we decided to continue the adventures of our lead character. However considerable effort has been made to make this new show its own beast, so even if you missed Dracula you can still understand/enjoy what’s going on. That’s right you get the best of both worlds.
2. We have one brave, smart, compassionate and overall kick-ass hero.
Most screen interpretations of Mina Harker are pretty unimpressive, she is presented as an object to feast on or lust after. However upon reading her original incarnation in the novel Dracula, we found a strong, scientific and independent heroine. Innes Lloyd wanted to honour this original version and also reward her for over a hundred years of misrepresentation…so in our version she’s a Doctor.
3. We have not one, not two but five villains from literature and cinema.
That’s right…this time around our brave Dr Mina Harker is taking on the most notorious of the ‘Universal Monsters’: Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde, The Mummy, The Wolfman, The Invisible Man and Frankenstein!
4. They’ll be singing and dancing plus lots of fighting monsters…now that’s what I call a Triple Threat.
There will be Fun Facts! As is tradition with all Innes Lloyd shows there’s a healthy dose of quite interesting information that will be passed on to every audience member during the show.
Innes Lloyd presents Mina Harker: Monster Doctor at The Butterfly Club April 5 – 11. 8:30pm
Tickets available here: https://thebutterflyclub.com/show/mina-harker-monster-doctor-2021
By Lisa Clark
Innes Lloyd are veteran purveyors of nerdy comedy – Rob Lloyd and David S. Innes. They have previously celebrated Harry Potter and Red Dwarf – amongst others – and of course are pretty famous for their association with Dr Who. Their production of Dracula has not been created with fans of sparkly romantic teen vampires in mind, this has been made for people who are old school Bram Stoker buffs.
It is important to note is that this show is not about any old vampires, there is no mention of Buffy or What We Do In the Shadows. This show is about The Count. Count Dracula. There are still a lot of cute related cultural reference jokes running through it, but it is mostly quite a neat comically theatrical presentation of Stoker’s novel and the way it was composed from letters, diaries and ship logs and such, which certainly made me happy. The crib notes or ‘Fun Facts’ are about the Dracula character and all the different ways he’s been presented in pop culture history with mentions of Blackula and Count Duckula and so forth. In fact I wondered if they created this show just so they could sing the Count Duckula theme song!
There is a lot of skill and experience on display. Great choreography and musicianship, good writing and great performing, as well as fantastically slick lighting and sound from Sam Duncan. The sea shanty is the highlight of the show, being very silly, jaunty and a bit creepy, perfectly capturing the account in the novel. The constant appearances of an unrelated horror film were a bit overdone and out of place though. If they needed to make comedic movie references, Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) has more than enough potential material, Keanu Reves, for one.
It is clear that Rob Lloyd is the standout performer here being a very experienced comedy veteran, starting out with The Hounds (with Tegan Higginbotham & Adam McKenzie) who became Watson after he left. David S. Innes is a delightful plucky sidekick playing many outrageously silly characters and they are joined for this production by Jennifer Speirs who is the Straight Guy to Innes Lloyd’s silly stuff, mostly concentrating on playing the Mina Harker character.
I love a group festival show that makes the effort to produce programmes for the audience. Even just a single sheet that celebrates the efforts of everyone involved in the production. It can act as a sort of flyer that they can take to friends. It’s also a fantastic source of information for reviewers!
This was a preview performance, but was pretty polished. Innes Lloyd are very experienced at entertaining a crowd. As this beds in and they become more relaxed about fooling around with it and the audience (there was a little of this tonight which added joyous sparks) it will only get better. For fans of nerd culture Innes Lloyd shows are always a fun night. If you’re a fan of The Count and love a laugh, don’t miss it!
Dracula is on at The Butterfly Club until March 31