By Laura Heuston
Coming off the back of “A Perfect Debut”, Juliet Rae Timmerman has invited us to the filming of her pilot episode of “The Latest Show of All Time”, starting at 10:45pm in the Terminal. This brand new late show is sure to soar in the ratings, as the host keeps the audience in stitches from start to finish, which I am sure the high-flying networking execs will be quick to note. They would also be remiss to fail to notice the wildly high production values that this show already demonstrates, as Timmerman is quick to note, with the backdrop ditching the tired “city at night” green screen (a choice that may or may not have had something to do with what was left in the store) and wowing us with a view of the red carpet from the window of limo- the shine of the plastic and A1 sizing is hardly noticeable.
Much of the humour of this show is based around Timmerman’s fantastic delivery. While the content is hilarious, a great deal of the laughter was elicited through dramatic sighs, dragging out words and emphasis. Timmerman’s complete persona is funny, and so it makes sense that her dance wearing a Smurf mask (her most feared monster) to an Imagine Dragons mashup is not only continuously amusing but also completely improvised. Going on for a number of minutes, another comedienne may struggle to hold the audience’s attention, but even with a number of repetitive moves and no dialogue or facial expressions she keeps us laughing.
This naturally funny persona however has an unexpected drawback- when playing a character that is not herself, Juliet loses some of regular sparkle. This came to light with the Uncle’s Corner segment, in which Juliet plays Uncle Geoff (with that specific spelling) who has an American accent but comes from Melbourne, just got out of prison for the accidental crime of exploding a petting zoo, and teaches an audience member how to tie a tie. Uncle Geoff is hilarious- don’t get me wrong, the laughs didn’t stop- however some of the charisma of the comedienne herself was absent. This is more a testament to how bone-crackingly funny Juliet is when just herself rather than a negative reflection on the Uncle Geoff character, as there is no doubt this was still a high quality sketch that the audience thoroughly enjoyed. Curiously enough, she did not have this issue when playing Denise (the Smurf mask dancer) but this may be due to the fact that the absence of dialogue and the blue face meant there was no other character really established- rather, it was more that Juliet herself took us into these new levels of absurdity and laughter. And that dance was just great.
Movie reviews are my favourite segments of most TV, and this particular late night show gave me a new number one. I need to express my eternal regret at not learning what Juliet’s Top 5 Movies To See If You’re Gonna Die Soon are. She teased us with only the first two, the classic “Christmas film” The Matrix, and Finding Nemo, which is “similar to the Matrix, but with a very different execution”. But I know that of her favourite genre, Christmas movies, she has some biting criticisms- The Grinch is too scary, Love, Actually is too sexed up, and A Christmas Carol is not a carol and also too scary. Christmas movies with supernatural themes that diverge from Santa-esque are banished to the critical wasteland of “basically a Halloween movie”, leaving me anxious for what I’m sure will be a show-stoppingly original review of A Nightmare Before Christmas. Hopefully it will feature next episode.
All in all this is a late night show I would gladly watch, and I cannot stress enough how big a compliment that is. A late night show has not appeared on my TV in years, and even when they sometimes made a appearance it was probably because I was mind-numbingly tired and genuinely could not comprehend anything else. But this show is worth staying up for, time and time again, as this comedienne genuinely puts all the other hosts to shame. I vote that the network picks it up, and if not, that she continues to grace the stage with her stylish blazer and uproarious wit.
All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.