By James Ong
Crips & Creeps is a monthly stand-up night run out of 107 Projects in Redfern. The project is designed to be a physically and emotionally accessible comedy night for the minorities and underdogs of Sydney, be that in terms of race, religion, gender, sexuality, disability etc. Each of the six comics per month, are given a platform to perform their comedic passions in a safe and communal space of similarly-minded individuals. Though intended for audiences that belong to such minority groups, the show truly is an accessible and enjoyable night for all, with a range of unique personalities and comedic styles to ensure you have a good laugh and get your money’s worth.
Each comedian was paired with an Auslan sign language interpreter and though this role would be a background fixture in most other accessible shows, here they became an integral and unique selling point. In fact, some of my favourite moments and gags throughout the night were centred on the relationship between the comedian and their assigned Auslan interpreter. Each duo would have a unique dynamic and tone that helped elevate the act beyond that of a typical stand up set. Some used the interpreter as a subtle supporting act, while others used their interpreters to deliver the punchlines in a non-conventional manner. The contrasting of the 6 different comedic units gave me a sense of a carefully curated variety show. Most of the time, the humour came from the charismatic comedian forcing their interpreters to translate and physically represent the outlandish (and often sexually charged) scenarios being described. In fact the headline act of Jordan Raskopolous (former The Axis of Awesome member) based her set around this premise, regaling us with an incredibly detailed passage of erotic fan fiction, based around a time travelling Clive Palmer. More than hands and mouth were needed to translate this tale and both performers on stage had the audience in raucous laughter.
MC for the night, Harry Jun brought a vibrant energy to the show and tickled my personal minority box as an Asian-Australian man navigating life as expectations and stereotypes are flung his way. An affable and relaxed presence, the night was in good hands with Harry at the wheel.
Robyn Reynolds shone in her segment, serving punchlines hard and fast in her fresh brand of witty and energetic humour. Clearly talented in the structure and timing of comedy, it’s not hard to see why she’s a fast-rising comic in the Sydney scene. Jamal Abdul also left a lasting impression, channelling his Bill Burr-inspired, everyman persona that melted hearts and deconstructed the funny side of being living with a disability.
As is standard for live comedy, enjoyment of each act is subjective, and though some gags missed the mark and some acts ran out of steam, the layout of the show made sure that a fresh, new and entirely diverse performer was right around the corner. With back to back 15 minute sets, C&C structured their night so that all performers came out the gate swinging to make the most of their slots.
Crips & Creeps holds a fresh and unique position in the modern Sydney Comedy scene. By many accounts C&C has evolved past its core concept as an accessible stand-up gig, by developing a new niche of live comedy. Part-vocal, part-physical duos are pull together reactive and off-the-cuff comedy that is in large part, found and crafted during the performance. Founder Madeleine Stewart and 107 Projects have crafted a non-conventional, yet entirely relatable culture with Crips & Creeps, one with a satisfying undercurrent of support and positivity. Shout out to the City of Sydney for supporting local performing arts and funding what should be a long-standing institution of our city.
All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.