1. Seabaths is an hour of hilarious and heartbreaking character comedy and story telling.
2. It’s full of coastal nostalgia with original music produced by Hadyn Noble.
3. It’s a love letter to people with gambling parents.
4. The centrally located venue, Pilgrim Bar, is nestled next to Fed Square and offers many delicious drinks!
5. Taylor Griffiths (Completely Improvised Potter) is mentored and directed by the brilliant Ben Russell (The Grub, The Tokyo Hotel).
Seabaths is on at Crowded In The Vaults from March 25 to April 5
By Colin Flaherty
A show about “Draining the Swamp” may set up expectations for a tale of sweeping governmental change ala Trump but, despite a little bit of political posturing and low level bureaucracy, this play saves its swamp analogy for the toxicity of keeping dark, personal secrets. Writers Rose Bishop and Elyce Phillips have created a wonderfully kooky world inhabited by some strange individuals who may appear somewhat normal on the surface but have some sliminess underneath, just like their beloved swamp.
The characters were a bunch of oddballs that were all played as broadly as possible. Lukas Quinn as Fergus the Public Servant was brilliant as the straight man reacting to all the weirdness going on around him with flair. Taylor Griffiths portrayed the dim witted dentist Lucy with wonderful naivety. The historian played by Millie Holten was note perfect exaggerated outrage and pedantry, even throwing in some great slapstick. Prue Blake as the Mayor was kooky enough as a self-obsessed sexual predator but not as bold or physical as you would expect from such a role. Pedro Cooray’s Spiritual Healer was given the least to do and his performance was a little shakey but his few words gave off a nice aloofness for such a shady character.
Setting this play in one location was a great move as it avoided any clumsy scene changes and allowed the action to flow in real time, keeping the laughs rolling as the strangeness escalated. A technical hiccup threatened to derail things but the bizarre nature of it fitted with this universe and the improvisational skills of the cast added some additional chuckles. The plot itself wasn’t particularly fast moving with plenty of witty circular conversation stalling the action but spouting many hilarious lines to keep us laughing. Each dirty secret reveal mainly served as a device for adding more jokes rather than raising the stakes. Lovers of straight theatre may grumble over the lack of character growth and consequences but this was essentially some fluffy fun with a bunch of kooky characters.
Things We Found In The Swamp is on at The Courthouse Hotel until September 16
By Elyce Phillips
Dairy Kweenz (Colwyn Buckland, Taylor Griffiths, Jess Hagan, Filip Lescaut and Lena Moon) are an up-and-coming sketch group based in Melbourne, regularly performing improv at The Improv Conspiracy. Normal Human Responses is their second show, following on from their Fringe Festival debut last year. It’s an entertaining hour, filled with bold characters and plenty of laughs.
Each member of Dairy Kweenz is given their chance to shine in Normal Human Responses. They all prove to be adept at playing big, absurd characters and their foils. A sketch in which Moon played a character who was extremely excited to get a hot toddy was an absolute stand-out. Buckland was also wonderful as a deranged lawyer in a Serial parody sketch. Lescaut was at his best when he was given room to rant. A sketch in which he produced ever more absurd examples of what “most gay men are like” was particularly great. Hagan was more subtle in her performances, playing the straight characters beautifully.
There’s no one theme that ties all of the sketches together, but a thread that does continue through the show is a doctor character performed by Griffiths, who is conducting experiments into various “normal” emotions. The video segments worked well and added some variety to the show.
As with most sketch comedy, the material in Normal Human Responses has its peaks and valleys. The bulk of the show was wonderfully funny, however, some sections ran a little long and it was difficult to hear the quieter lines as the performers were not using mics. The overall pacing of the show was great, though, with higher energy sketches scattered right throughout to keep the audience excited.
Normal Human Responses is a fine second outing from Dairy Kweenz and shows they have staying power as a sketch group. If you’re a fan of sketch comedy, it’s well worth catching this show during its short run.
Dairy Kweenz – Normal Human Responses is on at Speakeasy HQ until April 22
By Elyce Philips
Although we try and put our best face out in the world, when we look down deep inside, we’re all a bit garbage sometimes. In Human Garbage, Dairy Kweenz (Colwyn Buckland, Taylor Griffiths, Filip Lescaut and Lena Moon) play a cavalcade of characters that represent some of our crummier traits, and you can’t help but laugh as you shamefully relate to them all. It’s a hilarious hour of sketch that will leave you wanting to see more of their misguided creations.
The sketches in Human Garbage are loosely tied together by theme, but the one thing they’ve all got in common is a dedication to strong characters, played with nuance. Buckland, Griffiths, Lescaut and Moon throw themselves into their roles, whether it be a rude businessman, an overly strident feminist or a rapping psychologist.
The most successful pieces didn’t rely on set-ups and punch-lines, but rather had their strength in creating a person on the stage and finding the laughs in the specifics. A sketch satirising big banks trying to win over LGBTI customers – in particular taking aim at ANZ’s “GAYTM” campaign – was an absolute winner. Lescaut’s rendition of a bank manager was pitch-perfect, sitting in an awkward grey area between boasting about his tolerance and attempting to hide his total discomfort.
The show is an impressive effort for a group that only formed at the start of the year. These four performers have the chemistry of a far more seasoned act. Dairy Kweens will be doing a regular spot at the Improv Conspiracy once the Fringe Festival is over, and if Human Garbage is anything to go by, this is a group worth keeping an eye on.
Dairy Kweenz – Human Garbage is on at the Improv Conspiracy Theatre until September 23
1 – We’re emerging comedians and would love to get some exposure and constructive feedback
2 – We’re a mildly diverse team of four and we all had a hand in sketches, so we hope we’ve ended up with a good array of styles and topics
3 – Literally no audience participation! we might be emerging but we know enough to know everyone hates that. so you can chill out and take your shoes off!
4 – It’s only $10! So you can spend the rest on authentic Dairy Kweenz merch! (we’ll be auctioning off our costumes later)
5 – We don’t think it’s funny anymore because we rehearsed it so many times, but we remember when we thought it was funny so we hope you will too.
Human Garbage is by Dairy Kweenz who are Colwyn Buckland, Taylor Griffiths, Filip Lescaut, Lena Moon & Ivy Latimer)
It is on at The Improv Conspiracy Sept 14 – 23