By Tara Ramsay
The Anywhere Festival is now in full swing here in Queensland and it feels like there is something to see and do on every corner, if only I had more time!
On Sunday afternoon I went along to ‘The Sideshow’ in West End to see comedy duo Scot McPhie and Matt Bell perform their show ‘The Smooth End Of The Pineapple’.
The Smooth End of The Pineapple is an hour-long comedy sketch show, delivered in the style of an old radio show. The sketches were originally only written for audio and they have produced two studio albums. I have no doubt they were having so much fun in the studio they decided it would work as a live performance, and it does.
The stage is simply set with some microphones, music stands for scripts and a few tables with a hodgepodge of props to assist with sound effects, including some shoes, a tiny door and some celery, just to name a few.
Scot McPhie and Matt Bell enter onto the stage looking every part the old radio show hosts with white shirts and bow ties and after a quick introduction of their ‘8th debut show’, they begin the first of around 20 skits that compile the show that they describe as a mix of Monty Python and The Goon Show. They are performing the ‘comedy record for those who do not have a record player’.
The celery is put to good use in the first sketch as Derek has injured himself and needs some help adjusting his bones...now every time I snap a celery I am going to think of poor Derek’s broken leg! There were a number of characters in the first sketch including a holistic healer and a Scottish bystander and the vocal characterisations, including a spot on Scottish accent made it very easy to follow and a delight to watch as they leapt from the different characters and made use of the prop tables for sound effects.
I could have easily closed my eyes and enjoyed this production but getting to watch it unfold in front of me was so much more fun. It was nice to see the psychical changes of the characters, even though sometimes they may have only been small, it was still very noticeable.
There is no denying how talented these two performers are. There were some absurd characters and more accents than I could count - Scottish, English, South African and American were all in the mix and the material was well written, witty and ranged from social commentary to historical and contemporary pop culture with plenty of characters entering in and out of the tiny prop door.
A few of my favourite sketches included the burglar who brings his solicitor along to assist with any legalities of the burglary and informs the home owner of his client's rights - extremely clever and perhaps a little jab about the way the world is going. The Burke and Wills sketch, which was one the longest, but was also well received, was another favourite as they managed to take a full library and an insane amount of useless items on their expedition but no food to eat...cue laughter.
There was a nice flow between all of the sketches, and most were set up in the previous sketch with a line or two in a very clever way. The show is rated 16+ and whilst one or two of the sketches were, in true British style, a little ‘naughty’, there was no swearing. So, grab your 16+ kids, drag them away from whatever digital device is glued to their hands and who knows, they might even learn a thing or two whilst having a good laugh.
Scot and Matt do tour the show a little bit so keep an eye out, it’s certainly worth trying to catch them live however if you are out of town though and this is something that peaks your interest you can grab ‘The Smooth End Of The Pineapple’ album on Amazon.
Scot and Matt are a likeable duo and produced a truly wonderful homage to old comedy records and an era lost to the digital age with this show, with plenty of laughs to be had, just some good old fashioned fun, it was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.