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Review: Law & Order PTV at The Butterfly Club

Review by Stephanie Lee

From start to finish this show is outrageously hilarious and incredibly in character for a PTV comedy parody of Law & Order. Audiences are greeted while entering the space with ‘Authorised Officers’ who ensure that the front rows are filled and the show’s opening mimics the service departure announcement all Melbourne PTV travellers are accustomed to. Honestly all the little touches that makes the performance surprisingly dramaturgically thought out for something that seems from the outside to be merely a TV show parody.

A standout of the show’s design is the lighting and sound, which seamlessly transitions time and place, and allows for small montages about different aspects of PTV experiences to be spliced into the main plot. For such a small space, the lighting was rather impressive as the design effectively utilised several coloured lights and managed to establish different areas of the stage as different sections of the train. This was particularly successful for comedic moments where the actors were trying to communicate to the audience that they were walking up the aisle of the train because the lighting could convey this without needing the actors to move far- something that worked well on the small stage.

The sound design also assists significantly with transitions of time and place, as the use of train noises and voice overs clearly mark movement throughout the performance. One of my favourite sound moments is the use of the Bunnings music in the scene where the Law & Order squad go on the hunt for a perp at Bunnings Warehouse. The music means that the audience instantly recognises the joke, and it truly elevates the comedy of the script in the moment.

Similarly, the costumes are very on brand for the Law & Order vibe, with the ticket inspectors all dressed in cop attire, often completed with sunglasses.

The work itself is very funny, with the laughs being perfectly aimed at a Melbourne audience who are all too familiar with the public transport system and the huge fines for fare evading. I also thought it was extremely clever that they even manage to sneak in the names of train lines as a reoccurring joke.

Although the dance numbers were hilarious additions to an already chaotic performance, I felt that a couple of them went on for a little bit too long and lost a little bit of their humour as a result. However, having said that the music choices for the dance numbers were hilariously on-brand with the show’s theme of ‘touching on and off’, featuring songs like ‘You can’t touch this’ and ‘Bad Girls’.

For me inspector Wan Garatta and inspector Sand Ringham are standouts in the ensemble. Wayne speaks almost entirely in obscure Australian sayings and maintains a country accent the entire time with absolute focus, which is incredibly impressive to watch. Sand Ringham also retains complete concentration and commitment the entire show, nailing the tough cop stare and stance.

Overall, the cast is hilarious and have created a truly unique Melbourne comedy that is so funny and fun to enjoy. I think the show might be sold out, but if there happens to be any tickets left make sure to top up those Mykis and head over to the Butterfly Club to see the incredibly funny Law & Order PTV. Beep beep!

Image Supplied


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