After 2 hours of unpredictable hilarity and belly laughs, The Umbilical Brothers took to the stage for their curtain call and Dave announced: “Wow, that was a WIERD show”. This prompted even more applause from the audience in the packed out Regal Theatre, and I think it may have been because fans like to feel that they have seen something a bit unique, improvised and dangerous, rather than the same old comedic script that was delivered the previous night.
There were times in the show when I couldn’t tell if it was improvised or designed. I got the sense that some joke caught their fancy and they just decided to run with it. It was nice to see the realism and have them break character although somehow, they always found their way back to the narrative.
Heaven by Storm had a reasonably loose plot. As the audience sat in the dark, voiceovers enticed us into the show where we found that Shane and Dave were a little off course (in Japan). They met their tragic end on a mad dash to the theatre and found themselves at the pearly gates. An interesting conversation with God ensued and they found there was only one spot left. They scooted back to earth to sort out who’d go through and along the way; Andrew (a little sub-plot Shane had been working on) was introduced and ultimately led to an ongoing quest for 20c. The story was tied up with a few cursory lines at the end, which was just enough to satisfy the sticklers looking for a resolution.
History says that David Collins and Shane Dundas met when they were in an acting class more than 10 years ago and Dave broke Shane’s nose, which doesn’t sound entirely unreasonable given the incredible exuberance both men had. You can sense the closeness and natural synchronicity between them although they were not afraid to sabotage and mock the other for the sake of a laugh. At one point, while Shane was bringing Dave’s performance alive with vocal sound effects, they had a little “altercation” wherein Dave questioned the quality of the effects to which Shane retorted “remember, without me you’re just a mime”.
Both the guys and their characters are endearing, so it is no wonder The Umbilical Brothers are famed world-wide. They have a kid’s TV show in the US and they have performed for the Queen. I have to imagine that they amend the content for those audiences though, as very early into the show we saw, it became apparent that this was not for general exhibition.
The technical effects were great. The lighting was very simple but used perfectly to simulate various locations. The sound and props were designed to poke fun at their own basic nature.
They were filming a DVD on the night we were there so if you didn’t get a chance to see these incredibly talented guys live, and then check it out for great entertainment.
The Umbilical Brothers
Heaven by Storm
Venue: Regal Theatre, Perth
Dates/Times: 17 - 18 September @ 7.30pm; Sunday 19 September @ 7.00pm
Bookings: 132 849 | www.ticketek.com.au