Review by Alison Stoddart
The insertion of the very catchy and surprisingly earwormy tune Brother Brother into the performance of Nick and Tom – Real Estate Agents makes for an entertaining, if slightly misplaced, pause in this funny and well written play by comedians Nick Harriott and Tom Waddell. For we know early on that there will be no brotherly connection between the two.
Real Estate Agents is a tale of two cities. There is the city that is full of the aspirational and the profiteering. The hedonistic, social climbing, real estate consuming juggernaut that is Sydney and which is all pervading. We are introduced to those who embrace this lifestyle, and those who don’t. Those who choose the alternative, refuse to participate and get out, fleeing without a backward glance.
Nick is a young man trying his best in his father’s real estate business but definitely lacking the necessary skills for such a cutthroat industry. He recognises the raw talent of the Eagle Boys Pizza Delivery boy Tom and invites him into his world. The alacrity with which Tom gleefully ensconces himself in the family business and more importantly, the profession of selling, is undeniably an indictment on Tom’s personality. By using a backdrop of greed and deceit, lies and manipulation, the story is a clever portrayal of those whose moral ground is spongier that most.
The problem with money-making is that it tends to ride roughshod over the more basic needs of the community at large. Elevating accommodation, a roof over one’s head, to unattainable levels is limiting to a progressive society and also ultimately unfulfilling for the individuals involved.
The show throws up numerous one liners and there is some superb cynical and hilarious mocking of the Sydney radio scene with the audience privy to Nick’s radio choices through his earphones on his daily walk to work. Never forgotten is Ponder FM 95.hmmmmm.
Nick and Tom are competent character actors who work well together and nail their comedic timing, and their facial expressions are spot on. They indulge is some silly slapstick which involves Nick appearing in only underpants and hairy legs and thrusting his bum multiple times in the front row audience faces. If it gets a laugh once, may as well do it again seems to be a mantra that works.
The transformation of Nick from a nervous, ineffectual salesman to an eagle who soars freely makes one rethink the meaning of success. Nick and Tom - Real Estate Agents is a highly entertaining and laugh out loud show that is well worth an inspection.