Trash Test Dummies
by Melynda von Wayward
Reviewed on Sun, 06/04/2014 - 03:20am
Melynda von Wayward Total Reviews: 36
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Trash Test Dummies
Comedy Review by Leonard Miller

What: Trash Test Dummies
International Comedy Festival
Where: Comedy on Collins
When: 3rd - 17th April
Performed by Jamie Bretman, Simon Wright & Jack Coleman

Transformed for the second year into a hub for Squeaky Clean Comedy, Scots Church on Collins St must have one of the most serious atmospheres of any festival venue in town. Upon entering the small foyer area, large portraits of dour, bearded church elders look down at you from above while stone memorials and cenotaphs line the walls. There is no bar and the staff are unhelpful and this almost gives the impression you have stumbled on a meeting of the church council, where pressing and important theological politics are on the agenda.

Thankfully, once you enter the hall, the vibe changes. It is a generous Victorian hall that is well maintained, attractively painted and with nary a portrait of an old grumpy-faced preacher. The ample performance area gives plenty of room for the circus high jinks that are about to ensue.

The premise is simple. Three garbage men go about their daily routine collecting the rubbish. Using a collection of wheelie bins, they work acrobatics, juggling, slight of hand and cheap sight gags into this mundane task. There is no dialogue, yet the performers leave no doubt as to their intent and emotions. This is clowning in a traditional fashion and the three performers display a well honed practice in this ancient art.

A show devised for all ages, this show seemed more suitable for children, and although they received constant laughs, the humour was basically hackneyed and this gave the overall effect of the performance being tired. There was also a lack of clarity as to the premise and narrative drive of the show. Rather than being a ridiculous physical reading of the life of three garbos, it came across as three men highly skilled in circus arts having fun with wheelie bins. A simple storyline, however basic, would have given this show a drive and direction it sorely needed. As it was, I found the forty-five minute running time too long without this content.

An impressive display of talent and charisma, Trash Test Dummies is sadly let down by the lack of consideration in making it a cohesive show which would have turned the fun gags and incredible feats into an amazing experience.

3 Stars
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Publisher: Leonard Miller
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