Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Comedy Festival review #6: The List Operators

At Melb Town Hall, to April 26, Tue-Sat 9.30pm, Sun 8.30pm
$18 - $15

In these harsh economic times, you have to love a show which opens with a list of "Ten Alternative Ways To Start The Show", including a taped message from beyond the grave and a bonus Facebook joke. Talk about value for money!

The List Operators - the acerbic Rich Higgins and the genial Matt Kelly - are a polished and accomplished duo with excellent comedic timing.

Their material avoids all the usual pitfalls of sketch comedy. And they love lists. Lists of Matt's favourite fruit, for example, or countries it's ok to be racist about. The later is one of several sketches that require audience participation, although thankfully nothing too risky.

Sublimely silly moments, such as "The Hello Sketch", are followed by Higgins' "semiotic, structuralist analysis of 'The Hello Sketch"'; clever shifts in tone and style which ensure this show never drags.

Highly recommended.

This review first appeared in The Age Online on Tuesday April 7.

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