Review By Tatum Stafford
As the audience poured into the main hall of the Rechabite for the opening night of Fringe World Perth, there was an overwhelming buzz in the air. Though COVID-19 restrictions have slightly limited capacity across all festival venues this year, there’s no doubt us opening night ticketholders were primed and ready for an entertaining show – and the BangTown! team certainly delivered one.
The talented BangTown! troupe of comedians came out with a bang (pun intended), and immediately set the tone for an exciting night. After a quick introduction to the team and their talented band, the troupe launched into a few fun improv games to start. They displayed their lightning-quick reflexes in rhyming, dance and singing exercises, which, much to the audience’s delight, were based on random crowd suggestions including ‘a passion for cows’ and ‘swimming in the river’. The team were incredibly engaging, and interacted with the audience with ease and charisma.
By the time the troupe’s fully improvised musical rolled around, it was clear this team knows exactly what they’re doing; namely, how to craft clever comedy at the drop of a hat. This 20-minute musical was a clear highlight of the night, and featured plenty of entertaining scenes, quirky characters and skilfully improvised musical numbers.
If there were a nit to pick with this high energy show, it fell under the promised 60-minute runtime to a tight 45 minutes. It’s unclear whether this was an opening night teething issue, but it did seem to leave a few audience members wanting more after the final bows.
The three-piece BangTown! band should be commended for their brilliant musical improv and cheery dispositions as the troupe played out plenty of hilarious scenes. Their enthused faces during the entire performance added an extra layer to the overall show, and was a useful reminder that everything we were seeing that night was completely made up, and wouldn’t be recycled again.
The show is pitched as a combination of ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’ and a showstopping Broadway musical, and as one of Fringe’s only improv offerings this year, it’s clear that the show will be a favourite amongst Perth improv enthusiasts (and theatre lovers in general, for that matter). Hats off to the energetic BangTown! cast – if Friday night’s packed opening is anything to go by, this is sure to be a 2021 Fringe World success story.