Battlefield cabaret is farcical fun
By Myron My
Friends, cobbers and diggers, Dinky Di is here to tell you a story: a story about war and patriotism and conviction. From his flamboyant foxhole, Dinky opens up to the audience through comedy, cabaret and some interesting dance moves.
Vince Milesi, co-founder of award-winning comedy duo Backwards Anorak, wrote and performs in Let Dinky Die and he clearly has a knack for the absurd and the farcical. While this type of humour can be hit or miss, Milesi hits all the right marks with his audience, including me. His ease and comfort in playing Dinky is evident, and with that confidence comes the pleasing element of surprise for the audience, as we never quite know what Dinky is going to say or do next.
While there are plenty of laughs, the story being told seems to waver at times, with things happening or being mentioned that often don’t lead anywhere, such as when Dinky starts rifling through an audience member’s handbag: why, I wondered, are we as an audience being shown this? Furthermore, I feel there is not enough reflection from Dinky and his thoughts on the purpose of this war. If his dilemma is to decide if he should wait for reinforcements or fight a battle he is bound to lose, then that needs to be explored in more detail.
However, there are times when Let Dinky Die does move beyond the ‘just-for-laughs’ moment and brings to the surface the more serious effects of war. The letter he pens to his mother is not only funny, but also raises the issue of innocent civilians being killed and how they are manipulated or regarded as collateral damage in a war in which they have no say.
As a first-season run, Let Dinky Die is a great comedy show, but if it wants to challenge preconceived ideas of patriotism, duty and war as Milesi states, then it needs to dig a little deeper into this digger’s psyche.
Let Dinky Die was performed at The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place, Melbourne from June 29 until July 3, 2016