Performers: Westdal and Hayward, 2Spoons improv and Lachlan Werner
Reviewer: Lela Tredwell
Outstanding alternative comedy showcase attracts top acts.
Charming, eccentric host Simon Topping has created a line-up to write home about, in this variety comedy show. The event succeeds in showcasing the best acts on the comedy circuit that are offering something different from traditional stand up. He might refer to himself as an ‘idiot’ but Topping is no fool in bringing together the best of the Fringe. Simon Topping hosts each show with his very funny and gently nostalgic antics. He combines physical comedy, clowning and authenticity in his personable approach to compèring.
The night of the 7th May sees Topping do a death-by-spoon dance at the request of the audience and much to their delight. The line-up on this occasion includes the musical comedy stylings of Westdal and Hayward who open their 15 minutes with a cheeky hilarious political number ‘Mad About the Mogg’. The duo delight in colliding concepts that rarely meet as bed fellows. The marvellously mischievous pair, who describe themselves as being in the autumn of their lives, also do a sensational Bond song with a twist: Bond as a middle aged woman. An inspiring and refreshing musical comedy duo, they clearly delight in adding their own spin to the world they see around them.
Up next, Two Spoons, an improvised comedy act, perform a delightful set. This talented duo use the mockumentary style to weave a suggestion given by the audience into extracts from a fictional ‘documentary film’. The annual chicken run race is upon the town and the inhabitants tell us about their involvement in this very funny, clever set of scenes made up on the spot. Jenny Haufek and Elena Kerrigan are a joy to watch as they play chicken keepers, chicken racers and the chickens themselves.
Lachlan Werner, ventriloquist extraordinaire, is the third act to take to the stage. In this outstanding performance, Lachlan is accompanied by a puppet witch who runs rings around him. The bond between these two is hilarious and also moving, as Brew attempts to improve Lachlan’s confidence by sacrificing him. The costumes and props are perfectly chosen and this is an act to pull your heart strings… right into Lachlan’s Fringe show Voices of Evil which is playing at the Rotunda Theatre: Squeak.
All these brilliant performers can be seen at other times during the Fringe. Westdal and Hayward are playing their show Royally Worked Up at Sweet@The Poets, where Jenny Haufek is also performing there in Yes, Anderson. Elena Kerrigan will appear at Extra Topping again as part of the improvised performance group
Tea and Toast on the 21st May. Host Simon Topping will be performing a set himself that night in the act Beige Mirror.
Extra Topping is very quickly becoming a favourite in the local comedy calendar. If you’d love to attend a night which showcases local acts, diverse performers, as well as some of the very bestalternative comedy, look no further than Extra Topping.
Reviewed on the 6th May. Runs on 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st May.