Clodhopper starts off well. You can never go wrong with a papier mâché elephant’s head hat and a few bars of ‘Circle of Life’, I reckon. The problem is this show starts off as amusing but soon descends to ho-hum and then never really manages to pull itself back up again.
It’s produced by PTMD (musical parody, politics, satire and slapstick), a new production company fresh out of the university revue scene with the aim of reminding Melbourne how great sketch comedy can be. I’m just not convinced that Melbourne forgot, or, if it did, that this is the show to remind it.
There are some good, chuckle-raising moments. The chicken farm sketch is a real winner. The ‘They’re too Taboo’ musical number and the ghetto play also have huge potential. Potential did seem to be the flavour of the night. The entire show felt more like a rehearsal than a slick theatre production ready for a paying audience in the country’s richest theatre capital. Maybe I’m just a gen-Xer who truly doesn’t understand the whole ‘w-ever’ gen-Y attitude. But then, even with lashings of laissez-faire, good theatre still requires a certain amount of polish.
Still, the capacity crowd, though hardly sounding like they were experiencing the renaissance of sketch comedy, were enjoying themselves, and this is the Fringe after-all, where anything goes.
Clodhopper is okay. It’s not great, but it has an enormous amount of potential, in both the writing/conception and the performing. One troupe member who deserves their own mention is Clare Hampson: she’s got a real flair for comedic timing; her chicken farmer’s wife is a treat to behold.
Venue: Studio 1, Northcote Town Hall
Dates: 29 Sept - 3 Oct 2009
Times: 9:15pm Excluding 30th Sept
Tickets: Conc $10.00, Full $15.00, Group $10.00, Tightarse Tues $10.00
Bookings: Festival Tix: 03 9660 9666 or www.melbournefringe.com.au