Kate Herbert is theatre reviewer, Herald Sun, Melbourne & formerly for Melbourne Times. Kate is a director & produced playwright (20 plays). Scripts published by Currency Press. She worked as an actor, comedian, improviser & teacher of Acting, Improvisation & Playwriting. Kate is currently Convenor of Professional Writing & Editing, Swinburne University. Read her reviews here or at: www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/arts. NB Explorer Browser doesn't always work on blog.
Sunday, 27 March 2016
The Umbilical Brothers in Speedm, March 27, 2016 ****
Melbourne International Comedy Festival The Umbilical Brothers in Speedmouse Athenaeum Theatre, Collins St., until
April 17 (28 Mar & 4, 11, 15, 16, 17 April) Reviewer: Kate Herbert Stars: ****
Review also in Herald Sun Com Fest reviews online on Sun March 27, 2016. KH
The Roadie in Speedmouse
Who knows why mime gets such a bad rap in comedy circles but
The Umbilical Brothers (David Collins, Shane Dundas) blend it with vocalised, environmental
sound effects to create physical comedy that inspires the imagination of young
In Speedmouse, Dave and Shane perform a parade of unrelated
sketches loosely linked by ridiculous transitions that are triggered by a
remote control that someone in the crowd is using to manipulate their
They warn us that the remote has functions that include the
usual fast-forward, pause, slo-mo and rewind, but also additional, absurd
buttons for insinuation, argument and porno. Look out Dave and Shane!
Using their physical and visual comedy talents, The Umbis dexterously
create the illusion of solid objects, exotic locations and quirky characters.
The two transform into creaking, raptor dinosaurs, do a
waggish audience Q and A with Schwarzenegger and then whisk an invisible, 4
year old volunteer on stage then into the air in a mime balloon.
They float under water or wander through a mime doorway into
a windy alien environment and we witness Dave as Olympic all-rounder, Trevor Spartacus,
who screws up his javelin toss, hammer-throw and shot put alike.
Dave drags his microphone all over his body and we simultaneously
hear the amplified gurgling and babbling noises of his gut, heart and finally,
the weird creatures inhabiting his head.
Shane, who is on a microphone off stage, provides all these
synchronised, vocalised sound effects.
They are joined on stage by the Roadie, a sinister, silent
and enormous clown, and by the off-stage voice of Tina, their bass baritone
The Roadie is a comic highlight as he torments Dave on and
off stage, switching off Dave’s microphone and refusing to do his bidding to
carry heavy mime objects on and off stage.
The Umbis have toured to 37 countries with Speedmouse and
this mischievous pair continues to titillate family audiences as they conjure
objects out of thin air.