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.
Friday, 1 April 2016
Sammy J & Randy Land, March 31, 2016 ****
Sammy J & Randy Land Athenaeum Theatre until April 17, 2016
Reviewer: Kate Herbert on Mar 31, 2016 Stars:****
This review also appears in Herald Sun online Comedy Festival web page on Fri April 1, 2016. KH
Sammy J & Randy
Expect the unexpected in Sammy J & Randy Land because this
mischievous duo just keeps breaking rules and making the crowd roar with
When they plan to build their own theme park, Sammy J, the goody-goody,
nerdy human, and his stage partner, Randy, a rude, purple-headed, bogan puppet,
can’t agree on the theme, style, rides, target market – or anything.
This conflict generates a series of often achingly funny
episodes as Sammy J and Randy embark on their individual quests to create their
own version of the park.
The show is a rollercoaster ride of absurdity and vulgarity that
sees Sammy J performing his hilariously appalling one-man musical, A Jay in the
Life, Randy revealing his purple appendage on the Ghost Train and the pair
performing a Punch and Judy style puppet show about evil Randy the Ogre.
The duo performs on a carnival set design and the show feels
like old vaudeville, incorporating a straight man and fall guy, idiotic gags,
variety acts that include stick-, shadow- and hand-puppets, songs and crummy magic
tricks that include sawing Randy in half – well, in three.
With its adult themes, coarse language and intermittent,
graphic sexual references, this is not a children’s show but its balance of
raunchy, outrageous adult humour with playful, childlike silliness wins the
hearts and minds of the audience.
Randy’s theme park looks much more fun but far more
dangerous with its raptor enclosure, killer whale and manic monkeys.
This pair is accomplished and multi-talented, their comic material
is cunningly written and skilfully performed and they are totally in synch in
both their rehearsed and ad-libbed routines.
Sammy J and Randy take aim at soft political targets such as
Malcolm Turnbull, Tony Abbott and the hapless Joel Fitzgibbon who becomes their
mascot, as well satirising the Bondi Vet and his impressive pectorals.
“Do you believe in magic?” they sing and, by the end of this
wicked and twisted show, Sammy J and Randy have performed some comedy magic on