MICF: The Underlads

underlads comedy duoWe hit the awesome warehouse space that is 1000 £ Bend last night to catch The Underlads — a former Townsville duo fairly recently (I gather) moved to Melbourne — conjure a haunted house tale as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Living on Limbo Lane uses an array of techniques to bring the story alive: mime, hand puppets, marionettes, video, slapstick, night vision cameras, songs. There are more homages to movies and video games than you can point a ouija board at.

Shrub and Wearnie are likeable, engaging performers, but the show — for all their energy — never really takes off. Over-ambitious, perhaps, but the Ed Wood level of staging and effects, while charming, is too often less effective than it might’ve been, and the underpinning material relies too heavily on old gags and tired tropes.

The pair have got some great comedy chops, but this show was perhaps a street too far. An act to keep an eye on.

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The Cult going hot Down Under

If my tickets at the back of the room are any indication, The Cult are selling tickets for their Australian tour hand over fist. Ouch, but yay. I wonder if those empty days after the Sydney and Melbourne gigs might not become second gigs in those cities, if the sales are indeed running that hot…

Meanwhile, I believe Sydney duo The Black Ryder are playing the support. Here’s a lovely clip by them: