By Benjamin Lamb
The Melbourne Fringe Festival brings some of the weirdest, wackiest and most wonderful shows to audiences that are looking for something a little bit different out of their entertainment needs. Everything At the Same Time is a fringe show that features a brand-new hour of comedy from Andy Saunders, the comedian who is perhaps best known for his stint on reality TV show The Block.
The show took place at the So Soiree Fringe Garden, a site created for the festival, all the events taking place inside a tent that held around 100 people or so. The Saturday night crowd made their way into the tent, and there was a significant mix of 20 somethings to grandparents, and everything in between.
The show quickly got underway, Andy opening with a short dance number to the new popular track ‘BILLIE EILISH’ by rapper Armani White. If you’re a fan of the comedian, you know his interest in rap music, but to those who weren’t familiar with the work of Saunders, it was an interesting way to introduce the hour.
There was quickly a noticeable change in energy from the opening musical sequence to joke telling, Saunders seeming to quiet down and tell jokes with little to no energy, which isn’t a bad thing, and is his style, but the contrast was noticeable.
There were a number of musical moments littered throughout the 60 minutes, which Saunders seemed to come alive with, and you could feel the energy build in the room, we were definitely watching a talent at work. But often the musical segments were cut short to move back into joke telling.
In terms of the joke telling, Saunders detailed his life during lockdown with his family, and when imitating family members while laying out stories, you were really drawn in, Saunders doing a great job in setting out characters and bringing the audience into his world. But during the layout, the punchline quickly became clear most of the time, he may have been better off just filling the story with jokes rather than building up the story to a punchline.
Usually in the world of standup, there seems to be a throughline or a moral to the entire show, whether through callbacks, references or advice, which didn’t seem to be the case for Everything at the Same Time. Or if there was, it wasn’t clear and needed a bit more space to be openly understood. Not that it’s needed, but it often makes the audience feel like they’ve watched an hour of comedy, not a compilation of jokes and musical pieces.
Even though it was a small stage with limited audience space, the stage and lighting design deserves to be commended, all musical cues were perfectly timed, and you were almost made to feel like you were in a huge theatre, not in a tent a few metres from the performer.
Everything at The Same Time is the perfect name for this show, there was a lot going on, and seemed to lack any clear direction. It was a jam-packed hour of music, comedy and characters, and may have been better off with only one of those things.