Umbilical Brothers David Collins and Shane Dundas are one of Australia’s most enduring and imaginative comedy duos whose blend of mime, vocal sound effects and slapstick has made them a favourite of young and old for more than two decades.
Given everything the highly-imaginative bros have been able to accomplish with nothing but two microphones, a stage and their theatrical dexterity, it’s no surprise that letting them loose with green screens, video cameras and an arsenal of ridiculous props would have hilarious consequences.
The Distraction an Encore is a reimagining of their award-winning show performed at last year’s Adelaide Fringe.
The audience is greeted with a giant projector screen set high above the action while Collins and Dundas fly back and forth across the stage in front of the green screens with everything tied together by their helpful yet daggy DJ who sits behind a computer at the rear of the stage.
The fast-paced show is intertwined with recurrent skits reminiscent of comedy shows of the 1990s while the crowd is continually laughing at the many silly ways the two imaginatively portray scenes using prop babies and astronauts.
The crowd is not off-limits as the duo turn the cameras back onto the audience and even cause a few heads to explode.
It would be no surprise if this show’s concept was inspired by the virtual backgrounds available in digital Zoom meetings, but whatever its genesis, Collins and Dundas must have spent countless hours rehearsing their eclectic and fast-paced “multiverse” that treads a line between complete silliness and theatrical excellence.
The way Collins drives a getaway car through city streets while being chased by a giant baby, only to then make his escape in a helicopter, is both hilariously absurd and a highly impressive use of the equipment and props.
A satirical take on the modern crisis of the attention economy, screen time and the increasing distractions that plague our time, The Distraction an Encore is held together by well-executed comedic timing that will have you leaving with sore cheeks after an hour of frivolous escapism.
The Umbilical Brothers: The Distraction An Encore is in the Garden of Unearthly Delights until March 6.
Read more 2022 Adelaide Fringe stories and reviews here.
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