Review by Tash Bradshaw
Mel O'Brien and Samantha Andrew, better known as Mel & Sam, have a new comedy cabaret that is hilarious, honest, very gay, and a little unhinged – so strap in for a bumpy ride of musical hits and non-stop fits of laughter.
The manic hilarity begins on the netball court, with a line of purple bibs hanging along the back of the stage to set the scene. Anyone who has enjoyed the thrill of amateur netball could relate as their first song-and-dance covers all the cornerstones of the game: the little skirts on a cold Saturday morning, the frenzy when you can’t remember where you left your bib, the girls that are just a little too into it, and the profoundness of the ball never hitting the ground.
The show doesn’t have any central theme or setting, but effortlessly and chaotically traverses topics, places, costumes skits, and songs. We pass from a netball game, a waterslide park, the beach, ikea, a where’s wally book, and for much of the show we weren’t sure where we were at all.
The joy and energy the duo have on-stage is infectious, and you can tell they’re having just as much fun as the audience, and probably more. They don’t miss a beat the entire show, and their facial expressions are almost as expressive as their lyrics. Their strong vocals and high energy shine through in a series of hysterical songs, including ‘That’s Fucking Netball’, “Where’s Wally’, ‘Lesbians Don’t Get The Ick’ and ‘Babies Are Cancelled’.
They are, for the most part, dressed in neon flared pants, black midriff halter-tops, bright eyeshadow and high ponytails. But additions are made along the way that add to the comedic brilliance – surf-life caps, Wally costumes, and even Annie and "Daddy" Warbucks costumes.
After two epic shows before this one, ‘No Hat No Play! The Cabaret’ and ‘Shit-Wrecked!’, and a podcast, the duo are seasoned entertainers and it’s easy to see why they won Best Cabaret Weekly Award at the 2022 Adelaide Fringe and were nominated for a Golden Gibbo at last year’s MICF. They appear to have accumulated a loving and loyal fan-base, with most of the crowd well-aware of their podcast and previous shows.
The Toff in Town is the perfect intimate venue for the show, and it’s showing until 12 April so get in quick and keep an eye out for whatever these two do next!