Review by Carly Fisher
When the topics at hand are wine and comedy…can you really say much is wrong?
I’d argue not but for anyone who may disagree with me, I urge you to catch Sweeney Preston and Ethan Cavanagh’s Monday night show at Super Bueno to see how a wine tasting comedy show can a) work and b) work well. In Pour Taste is the third show on offer by the Melbourne based comedy duo this Adelaide Fringe and it is wonderful to see emerging comedians going beyond the confines of a stand up show set and thinking creatively about ways to infuse other activities - for example, PowerPoint parties and wine tasting - with comedy. Preston and Cavanagh have found a niche in this and I hope it sees them do very well.
Dressed in dapper suits and ready to be the consummate wine tasting hosts, the pair deliver a good range of jokes and funny anecdotes to ensure that there was something for everyone in the very mixed audience. Accompanying the pair, Henry Doyle is the resident wine expert there to act as the show’s in-house ‘sommelier’ (without the official license/title).
The show succeeds in finding that great balance between what is interesting when wine tasting and what is plain pretentious and needs to be poked fun at. I would have liked to have seen the comedians take the reins even more, with a tendency to let Doyle overtake the show at times. Preston and Cavanagh have a great sense of comedy and excellent chemistry between the two and I feel that the evening would have been funnier if we had given them more time with the mic.
Whilst I am not sure that this show showed off Preston and Cavanagh as much as it could have as comedians, you can clearly see their talent and I would be very keen to see more from the pair. In the same way that the bestie-comedian pairs of ‘bros’ have worked for Australian radio duos for years now, I see and hope for a similar future for these too. They have Hamish and Andy vibes and I hope that they will continue to work together for many years to come because it is their friendship that audiences instantly love to watch.
Though finished for this year at the Adelaide Fringe, the boys are taking this show on the road and you'll be able to catch it at other Australian festivals throughout the year...and Adelaide, who knows, maybe they'll be back next year with some more Monday night wine nights.
Ultimately this is a hard show to critique because it is not trying to be anything more than it promises - this is certainly a wine label description you can trust. It is simply a fun way to spend a night with friends - a light wine tasting, drinking largely locally sourced wines and getting a bit of comedy compare in between pours. What’s not to like?