Monday, April 16, 2012

Comedy Festival Review: Boneshaker - This is Siberian husky

The 2012 Brian McCarthy Memorial Moosehead Awards fund shows and artists that are exciting and different. In the Mooseheads own words (apparently mooseheads can talk) they want to get behind ideas that are a bit mental.

Recipients receive support in developing and producing the show, support which includes a director and additional publicity. This is a much sought after award in Australian comedy with only 2-4 shows receiving it each year.

Boneshakers are one of the recipients of Moosehead in 2012. Thye fulfill the criteria of being mental. The show is a self-described sketch comedy show that is stiff providing a madly jagged ride. In what could be the most accurate description in the festival’s program, Dan Allemann and Simon Godfrey invite their audiences to join them on an unsettling trip of the absurd and ridiculously battered.

This Is Siberian Husky is a sketch comedy show comprising of half a dozen loose narratives that repeatedly run parallel to and intersect with each other throughout the show. Mathematically and physically impossible you say… that might be why I came away from the show exhausted and confused.

The performers give everything they have physically and vocally, which often resulted in it all getting a bit aggressive and yelly, Using only two wooden boxes as props, with no costume changes Alleman and Godfrey play a series of absurd characters of both genders. Scene and character changes are depicted rapidly and subtly by the change of lighting, a sound effect or the quick change of posturing from the stars.

The Pyjama Men have famously wowed audiences at the Comedy Festival over the past few years with a similar manic, multi-story style of sketch comedy – but they are also brilliantly funny. Boneshakers are absurd and obscure, producing only occasional, gentle laughter.

Alleman and Godfrey voice a rapid fire and verbose dialogue, their physicality was equal to any aerobic workout class. I wanted to have laughed with the same frantic energy as the performance. I didn’t.

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