Review: The Travelling Sisters at the Malthouse

Review By Flora Norton


Creative, theatrical, and defiantly bizarre, the Travelling Sisters’ new show “Thy - Thus - ‘Twas” is certainly cut from a different cloth to your average show at this years’ International Comedy Festival. Starring Lucy Fox, Ell Sachs and Laura Trenerry, the show follows three mullet-sporting, Aussie men from the country, each in possession of both a strong desire to make it in the theatre, and a uniquely entertaining mother. The show is engaging and exaggerated with a slapstick comedy style, and while the plot is confusing and at times questionable, the performance itself is enchanting and full of talent.


The sketch is cleverly crafted, with a set consisting of a single wall, behind which, the sisters undertake rapid costume and character changes. While they play men for much of the show, Fox, Sachs and Trenerry all have the uncanny ability to transform themselves into their own mothers, with the help of just a shawl or hat. Sachs in particularly, displays extraordinary range as she flits effortlessly between Berrick, an eager, bumbling and somewhat dim young man to his sophisticated and glamorous mother, a change so convincing that the actress is almost unrecognisable. The contrast between mother and son is funny and ridiculous, while also helping the narrative and adding another dimension to the show.


During the show you meet the three “Mullets”; Darryl, Berrick and Vinny, all with their own unique performance style and personality. While Darryl is overbearing and confident, Berrick is eager to please and enthusiastic, and Vinny is cynical and reserved. The actors use mime to portray the intricacies of their characters to great comedic effect and while it may not always be clear what is happening, there is never a dull moment on the stage.


Thy – Thus – ‘Twas is an exaggerated, physical comedy and the choreography is expertly crafted and flawlessly executed. While the writing may somewhat miss the mark on clarity and relatability, the performance by the three actresses is itself comedic and betrays unmistakable talent. An endearing and upbeat show, Thy – Thus – ‘Twas is certainly worth the trip to the beautiful Malthouse theatre and the Travelling Sisters are certainly a trio to watch out for in the years to come.



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