Melbourne International Comedy Festival: The Umbilical Brothers – KiDShow (Not Suitable for Children) @ The Arts Centre Playhouse

This review was published on the AU review on 29/03/2014 and can be viewed here.

Kicking off their run of 2014 comedy festival shows, The Umbilical Brothers, known for their slapstick, sound-effects humour, spent the entire show trying to convince themselves the audience were in fact adults not kids.

Albeit named KiDShow, the 75 minute show, with no intervals, was set out in the style of David Collins (performing as Dane) and Shane Dundas (performing as Shavid), presenting a very naughty, sexual, extremely violent kids show.

The Aussie pair, who met in their first year of acting school, have been performing as a comedy duo since 1990 and are well-versed in children’s entertainment having hosted their own kids television show, The Upside Down Show, for a couple of years, however, tonight’s show was far from being appropriate for the young’uns.

We were introduced to the ‘presenters’ of the show with a metal music intro playing over the speakers as the duo entered the stage.

When the music died down Shavid and Dane started doing the fly dance. The audience did not clap much. So they tried again; only a little bit more of a clap. Multiple more attempts were tried and they eventually expressed their realisation that “the audience aren’t kids.” They turned the dance into an angry bear dance involving a very unlucky plush cow. They blamed the marketing department for fucking up on the age group of their audience and started referring to them as perverts.

As is customary at comedy shows, latecomers are always made fun of as they try to sneak into the comedy shows hoping to be unnoticed. Tonight as each of them walked in one of the lads would say, ”welcome kids’. Another point saw Shavid go into the front row of the audience to sit in an unoccupied seat. Dane scolded him, “Don’t point out the empty seats.”

The first half of the show involved a lot of dialogue and a bit of movement from the performers, which was more narrative than comedy. As the show went on their signature style of physical comedy and sound effects shone through and the crowd became more receptive. When they weren’t ‘on stage’ presenting to the ‘kids’ the lads would pretend to go backstage (but remain on the stage) and chat as if the audience couldn’t hear them.

As the show went on the jokes became funnier, sillier and more outrageous. By far, the best part of the night was when one of the presenters went on a murder frenzy involving the Brady Bunch family. A very violent Mickey Mouse also made a special guest appearance.

At the conclusion of the show the audience cheered more than they had throughout the night. The audience were given a chance to ask questions after the show and the duo explained that the lighting guy was on his first day of the job for their show. The previous lighting person quit during the recently concluded Adelaide Fringe Festival. The guy did a perfect job, as there was no sign of any stuff ups.

Unfortunately the show wasn’t as hilarious as I expected it to be, yet was enjoyable to watch. I guess you had to be in the mind frame of a child, to take in the silliness of it all.

David/Dane and I. Watching his comedy show one day, chatting to him about the said show at the Thirty Seconds to Mars concert the next
David/Dane and I. Watching his comedy show one day, chatting to him about the said show at the Thirty Seconds to Mars concert the next

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