Review by Mina Asfour
One stage, two microphones, two guitars (one being a plush toy) and two Intelegant (and extremely funny) women, Leela Varghese (she/her) and Shabana Azeez (she/her) are all that's needed for audiences to be entertained and educated through music on racism in a white Australia.
The Coconuts is a musical comedy show, that talks about what it is like being “brown” and living in Australia, living on the outskirts of two very different cultures and not entirely fitting in either, to be a coconut (brown on the outside and white on the inside) with these relevant themes the duo find a way to make the whole room roar in laughter, the comedy show revolves around several songs discussing their past and how they arrived to where they are today, their dating life, sex life and a cat phobia? The music is easy on the ears, an earworm that makes the audience hum to the chores after only hearing it for the first time, it also helps that their voices are heavenly and really help to elevate the music. With a simple set design, all the focus is on Leela and Shabana, and luckily they know how to engage with an audience, the duo do a fantastic job at keeping the audience entertained with audience participation also being a nice touch, as Leela and Shabana include the audiences in songs that they have written.
Their comedy chops are also impressive, the duo don't try to be funny and have this cool and authentic persona that surrounds them, which makes everything they say hilarious. Leela and Shabana also give the audience a chance to learn about their past and have a little glimpse at the racist micro-aggression that they have dealt with, with stories of them being mistaken for one another at events or being told not to do comedy. These girls are what the comedy scene needs right now, fresh, new, interesting and actually funny. The only downside of this show would be Leela and Shabana giving you a sore throat from laughing too hard.
Its really one of those shows where you can't help but cackle, yes maybe some (white) people would feel uncomfortable seeing this show, but who cares, if you’re queer, POC, or a fellow coconut then you must see The Coconuts, Satirical music, heavenly voices and lots of laughs, what more could you ask for? Because I can't think of anything better to see, A true highlight of Adelaide Fringe