Saturday 13 April 2019

Three Guards on Manus Island - Comedy Review

What: Three Guards on Manus Island
When: 8 - 14 April 2019
Where: Downstairs, The Butterfly Club
Directed by: Jacob Sacher
Performed by: Josh Cake, James Gordon, and Sandy Whittem
Josh Cake, Sandy Whittem, and James Gordon
Do you like a bit of bondage? Do you like a bit of science with your comedy? Do you like your punchlines to come by surprise? Do you like your comedy to mean something and say something? Do you like to laugh out loud? This is what you will get with Three Guards on Manus Island at The Butterfly Club this week.

The title may be off putting. You might wonder how on earth such a tragic and shameful situation as our Australian response to refugeeism is and wonder how anybody could possibly joke about it. If you think these things this is exactly why you should come and see Three Guards on Manus Island.

Oh, and if you are a fan of a bit of bondage you will really get a kick out of being the inmates who have been forced to miss dinner in order to watch the revue rehearsals for the guards' musical show. There will be silence as you enter! You will sit where you are told! You will leave quietly and in and orderly fashion when it's over! And no, you will not get food or medical attention!

What you will get is a riotous and intelligent array of sketch comedy which runs the risk of leaving some people behind. For those who know who Schrodinger and Pavlov are, and for those who are familiar with Beethoven and Billy Joel this is a night when all your learning and culture pay off with belly laughs.

Don't get me wrong. Three Guards on Manus Island is not elitist. There is a talking seagull for goodness sake. Yes, she only eats chips from Grill'd (it's the oregano which makes them great), but that's not privilege, it's good taste!

In a world where every piece of music sounds like 'The Piano Man' and cowboys are exposed as horse boys, Sacher leads Cake, Whittem and Gordon on a riotous romp through absurdity and privilege with painfully funny flashbacks to the situation in PNG. 'The Identity Song' cuts through the irony of persecuted groups reclaiming their epithets and there is a first aid kit for guards with paper cuts but the inmates better not expect any medical attention!

Three Guards on Manus Island is seriously funny comedy about a serious issue and the team back it up by committing to send all profits to the Refugee Action Collective. Let's make it a barrel full of money by selling out their last two shows. It's win/win because you get great comedy and refugees get help.

4 Stars

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