Lords of Luxury - After Dinner Mint
Noodle Palace - The Ken Dome
REVIEW: Samuel J. Cox
Jack Kerouac proclaimed in his pseudo-autobiography On the Road that "the only people for me are the mad ones". He would have loved the crazed comedians of Lords of Luxury then. Dan Debuf, Luke Ryan, Matt Saraceni and Paul Verhoeven were in fine form during the opening performance of their late night variety show.
Firing like a four-litre, six-cylinder, LPG and comedy-fuelled Nissan Patrol getting about 300 kilometres to the tank, the talented young go-getters (sporting stylish tuxedoes) were not deterred by the few punters smattered across three rows of seating. Performing at their best, they seemingly did away with the chronic teething problems that have plagued every other Fringe show I've attended and dominated the small space in what used to be the Piccadilly Cinema.
The show was driven by quick skits and cheeky banter and possessed the perfect amount of chaos. While it often seemed like it might derail any moment, it never did. Improvisation kept things from appearing too contrived, and often had the other members of the cast struggling to maintain their composure.
It is refreshing that their brand of comedy is consistently clever and light-hearted, rather than crude, controversial or in poor taste.
Initially welcoming punters into the theatre and chatting amiably, they went on to open with a bizarre musical number accompanied by keyboardist, WAAPA graduate and performer in her own right Gillian Cosgriff.
The lads hosted comedians Nellie White, Dr. Professor Neal Portenza and Nath Valvo who are all in town with a Fringe show of their own. Allowing each some time to flex their comic muscles and provide the audience with a taste of what one might expect from their solo show, the Lords then used a game show format to generate further mirth.
The back wall hosted a panel with headshots of C-D grade celebrities, which were pulled away to reveal a game the guest comedians had to play. These included Masseuse Idol, Don't Blow Your Load and The President of Namibia is in the crowd.
Nellie White was crude but funny, discussing online dating and her weight among other topics. The wonderfully weird Dr. Professor Neal Portenza did not actually do any stand-up or sketches on stage but, inexplicably, had the crowd uncontrollably laughing. The camp Nath Valvo concluded the night with a bitchy, funny and touching anecdote about his disastrous tenth birthday party.
This is a fun way to see a variety of acts, and because the guests change nightly, and the game show format offers a number of further activities not used in this performance, every show will be unique.
A word of warning: don't take a front row seat unless you are up for some light-hearted, undemanding and humorous audience participation.
The Lords are also presenting a second (hilarious and outrageous) show, simply titled Lords of Luxury.
After Dinner Mint runs until February 23.