|Busting Out! | AG Productions|
|Written by Adrienne Gross|
|Sunday, 01 June 2008 22:29|
Some might say that spending a Friday night in a dark room with topless women is a titillating experience. Now the obligatory pun is out of the way, I can answer the question on theatre-goers’ lips: is Busting Out a show of sleazy pornography, or a night of laughs that just happens to involve breasts? Given that the audience was predominantly middle-aged women rather than furtive looking men in raincoats, it was just as well that the evening turned out to be the latter.
Busting Out is a comedy act duo frequently compared to Puppetry of The Penis; part of the ‘naughty bits’ inspired genre with its promotional material that includes warnings about frontal nudity and coarse language. Such content may be a divisive form of entertainment, but showbiz veterans Bev Killick and Emma Powell make every effort to include the audience into their middle-aged wobbly-bits humour.
Even before the sold-out opening night show began at The Playhouse, the audience was cleverly engaged, and the exposed set design of hot pink banners gave a taste of what was to come: bright, crass and in-your-face amusement.
The production is written for two parts, the first being a stand-up act by Bev to relax the audience and set the tone for the rest of the evening; frenetic variety-hall humour with raw personality. Try to imagine Kath and Kim hyped on instant coffee, pow-powing jokes out and segueing between incontinence, sex, and big undies in the same sentence. The audience responded with a constant chuckle, ranging from conservative titters, to ‘whoop whoop right-on-sista’ hearty bellows as Bev pointed out the perils of fashion shopping with her post-baby body.
After a brief intermission, part two rolled into an hour’s worth of well-structured skits without kit. The audience’s attention was slapped and tickled with a song here, a dance there, and some short acts with props. The production was created and written by Emma Powell who has a demonstrated awareness of audience desires beyond the content alone, including in the production a big screen and a nifty trick to ensure that even those in the top rafters don’t miss the double-D rated action.
Since their many performances after the show’s debut at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in 2006, the pair have their pairs into a well considered balance; making the most of their strengths such as Emma’s voice so clear and powerful that it managed to pierce through the music tracks that were sometimes too loud to understand the adulterated lyrics. There were also a few audience lulls as some skits were a bit repetitive for the voluntary voyeurs who fed on ever-increasing expectation for daring new deeds.
The show progressed through the perils and perks of having breasts, which was well understood by the mainly female audience, but what was in it for the men? The show was not pornography; the overpowering humour counteracts any 'wowsering' - and any fantasies of Aerobics Oz Style were squashed with eyefuls of more bouncing than an NBA playoff series. Thus, to lift male interest, the leading ladies include the men through some jokes and audience participation.
They also try their best to cater to those tastes that are more Grange Hermitage than West Coast Cooler, but my guest - both being a man and a snob - had his arms crossed for most of the performance. The acts that were clever and unexpected did however elicit a good chuckle from the Shakespeare buff. Incidentally The Bard himself was a writer of some fairly lowbrow humour, with character names such as ‘Bottom’ and prose full of more double entendres than a bad French romance novel. Thus I say to fellow snobs, Busting Out is just responding to our time, which has the freedom to express - literally.
If you like Tupperware parties with the gals, sipping some Chardy and having a laugh at one’s wobbly bits, then you’ll love the comedy skit-set of Busting Out. For everyone else, there’s something there to at least have a smirk about and - after the show - look at gaffer tape and donuts in a whole new light.
AG Productions present
Emma Powell & Bev Killick in
Venue: Playhouse Theatre, Canberra
Date: Friday 30 May
Bookings: 02 6275 2700 or www.canberratheatre.org.au
TOUR DATES - click here»
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