Photo – Monica Plonk
Biology is the comedy chemistry in The Stevenson Experience. Aussie identical twins Benjamin and James Stevenson sass and banter their show into an ideal blend of structured storyline mixed with natural improvisation.
In the comedy spectrum, The Stevenson Experience sits in the positive piss-taking category. This means there is a tiny bit of swearing, but it’s contextual ‘as f*ck’. Benjamin and James Stevenson have a natural energy and seem genuinely happy to be on stage. There is no deeper agenda such as criticising politicians or victimising an audience member. They are keen to please the crowd with positivity rather than by roasting or embarrassment.
Casual chit-chat is interspersed with peppy song stories. One tale leads to another, leads to another, until the threads come together at the end with delightful edge-of-the-seat cringing ‘oh noooo – that didn’t happen…did it?!’
The Stevenson Experience has music, but it’s to enhance – not the main feature. On keyboard, Benjamin plays up as the more intellectual and artsy fartsy youngest twin. James strums guitar and later raps, dishing out comeuppance to Benjamin.
Being twins in their late twenties, they are similar in the obvious physical ways but each has unique mannerisms. Their humour is largely based on their lives as identical twins, such as ‘spot the difference’ and situations when they swapped lives. The Stevensons do this to just the right amount to be genuine and satisfy curiosity for the non-twins among us. Their banter is rapid and sassy. It’s all in good jest though, as reflected by the warmth they describe their mum and dad – albeit with mirth at the intergenerational differences.
A bonus is James and Ben’s effortless improvisation. Comedians on tour so often have honed their act to the point of ritual perfunctory ‘pause for laughter’. But the Stevensons embrace their stuff ups, which make them human. I imagine a Stevenson family get-together would be filled with tears of laughter.
The Stevenson Experience is a positive non-agenda comedy act with pep. The jokes are based on wit and engaging storytelling, and keep the giggles going even after the show.
The Stevenson Experience presents
Spot the Difference
Benjamin Stevenson and James Stevenson
Venue: The Street Theatre | 15 Childers St, Canberra ACT
Dates: 24 March 2018
MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL COMEDY FESTIVAL
Venue: The Victoria Hotel (Acacia Room) 215 Little Collins St, Melbourne VIC
Dates: 29 March – 22 April 2018
SYDNEY COMEDY FESTIVAL
Venue: The Thatcher’s Cider House at the Factory Theatre, 105 Victoria Rd, Enmore NSW
Dates: 17 & 19 May 2018