Sunday 14 April 2019

Two Wrongs Don't Make a Play, Right? - Comedy Review

What: Two Wrongs Don't Make a Play, Right?
When: 13 - 14 April 2019
Where: Mission Persons, Nicholas Building
Written and performed by: James JG Gordon and Lucy Seale
James JG Gordon and Lucy Seale
Comedy, at its very heart, is a simple beast. All it really requires is juxtaposition and/or hyperbole and an audience who can read those mechanisms. In Two Wrongs Don't Make a Play, Right? Gordon and Seale strip the performance elements bare and instead fill Missing Persons with straight forward sketch comedy of the thinking kind.

Missing Persons itself is not a theatre. It is a multidisciplinary arts space with gallery style track lighting and, for the Comedy Festival, is filled with rows of trestle benches. The stage is the end of the room without any benches. Simple, pared down and evidence that the Festival is so massive any and every available space is needed to house all the comedy flooding the city this month.

Missing Persons is a naked room and what it requires from performers is skill and craft in the ability to make people laugh. Gordon and Seale bring bucket loads of that with their pared back sketch comedy and contagiously energetic stage presence.

Seale is a playwright and Gordon is a sketch comedian (who has to run straight over from The Butterfly Club after his performance in Three Guards on Manus Island). They have been working as a comedy team for a few years now and their simpatico shines through in this night of honest and hilarious comedy.

The conceit underlying the show is Gordon and Seale have developed unreconcilable differences within their partnership and are undergoing a legal separation. Due to a Festival administration error and the inability of either of them to adhere to week day custody agreements they find themselves booked in to perform in the same venue at the same time.

They decide to declare detente and perform together for one last time as an alternative to continuing their fued in stage whispered asides but Seale wants to put on a play and Gordon wants to do stand up. The compromise is sketch comedy, but now they have to agree on what the sketches are...

This meta tale is fun but the real comedy gold is in the sketches - both in the detail of each sketch and also in their ability to echo ideas throughout seemingly unrelated scenarios. You won't find much better (or funnier) ideas on how the answer to feminism is global warming. For all you grammar Nazis out there, Bruce the vampire is your soul mate but don't risk splitting an infinitive!

The way to my heart came at the end as Seale talks turkey about The Bard whilst admitting another Henry is on the way to pay the bills. Meanwhile Gordon is complaining about playing Anne because "being a woman sucks".

More often than not the K.I.S.S. principal is the key to success and Gordon and Seale prove the point in Two Wrongs Don't Make a Play, Right? When the content is this good all you need is an audience!

Pro tip: Book on line because there are no door sale tickets.

4 Stars

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