Tag: Laura Frew

REVIEW: Backward Anorak presents The Hip Hikers’ Guide to the Galaxy

An Intergalactic Comedy

By Narelle Wood

Backward Anorak’s show The Hip Hikers’ Guide to the Galaxy was promoted as an ‘intergalactic master class on assimilating one’s alien self into a hipster world’. It was not so much a master class as it was a brief aside to many of the other chaotic and mostly funny antics on stage.

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The show began with lots of promise; awkward dancing with impressive flair (Laura Frew); a DJ dropping some very hip beats (Leo Milesi); and the stylish entrance of the show’s two main characters Prince Harian (Vincent Milesi) and his slave Minge (Michelle Braiser). The story is that Prince Harian must find a wife and the audience are employed to help find him one.

The show is a musical comedy and the music selection is great, as is the reworking of the lyrics; it also helps that Milesi and Braiser have fantastic voices. I loved the costumes; it was like the 80’s had thrown up on stage but in a fabulously atrocious kind of way. And full credit to the cast who wore the spandex leggings, sparkly hot pants and oversized knit cardigan seemingly with pride.

While there were some laugh-out-loud moments, especially in the opening minutes, there always seemed to be too much going on. It felt like very little of the show was spent on the storyline. Instead the plot degenerates into seemingly unnecessary cheap jokes about sex, swearing, and some ill-placed and offensive references to ISIS and sex offenders. In fact a lot of the comedy relies on the bullying of one of the characters; I couldn’t quite see how this was humorous. These moments were in direct contrast to the really witty and well-written musical numbers, so I left feeling confused rather than entertained.

I found it to be a combination of things I really enjoyed and things I really didn’t. A Hip Hikers’ Guide to the Galaxy is worth a look if you are familiar with Backwards Anorak’s work or if you like comedy that crosses the line more than once.

 

Venue: The Butterfly Club, Carson Place, Melbourne

Season: Until 19th April (excl. Mon): Tue, Wed & Sun 8pm, Fri & Sat 9pm

Tickets: Full $32| Conc $25

Bookings: thebutterflyclub.com

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REVIEW: Backwards Anorak Presents WINTER IS COMING

When you play a game of thrones, you sing or you lose…

By Margaret Wieringa

In hopes of getting work on the popular HBO series, a group of musical theatre graduates stage a musical interpretation of the television series Game of Thrones. Is that the plot or is that what is actually happening? Both, perhaps?

Crated and performed by Michelle Brasier, Vince Milesi, James Baker, Laura Frew and Leo Miles, Winter is Coming for this year’s MICF opens, appropriately, with the television theme played and sung with intense and hilarious gusto. We the audience are included as ensemble, though the real casting battle is between the five on stage. Who will be Ned Stark, Jon Snow, Hodor, though most importantly: who will be Khaleesi?

Winter is Coming

The war is being waged between the performers: the quietly spoken musician, James, (spending his off-time in the performance catching up on his Game of Thrones reading) and the understudies, Laura and Leo, but ultimately it is the two leads who must contest the final battle; Vince vs Michelle, and the winner will be the mother of dragons.

The show seems to break so many rules; but in breaking them, the humour flows. Often, the five actors talk over each other, and the hilarity comes in when a single line or even a single word is distinguished. There are “in” jokes galore, yet as someone not in the know, I felt included. I found myself laughing at comments without really knowing what was funny. Throughout the show the focus was split, sometimes up to five different ways. That shouldn’t work; but here it does.

And, don’t forget, it is a musical. The Music Room at Trades Hall is small, but these adorable performers fill up every space with their ridiculous antics, including some pretty impressive dance routines. The choices for the songs were at times unpredictable, including the duet of Khaleesi and Samwell.

Highlights? So many. The baby in the blanket, the dragons, the totally cringe-worthy yet magnificent representation of Tyrion, the foray into Narnia, the swordfight… If you have seen Game of Thrones, and especially if you love it, then you must get yourself to this show.

Venue: Trades Hall (The Music Room)
Season: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from March 27-April 19 at 10:45pm
Tickets: $22/$17

Bookings: http://www.ticketmaster.com.au/ or call 1300 660 0131300 660 013