A show about rubbish that’s anything but garbage!
By Jen Coles
Comedian Sammy J and puppet Randy (Heath McIvor) have unique style of comedy featuring music, sketches and generally unexplainable madness that is extremely successful in their latest comedy festival outing, Bin Night. It tells the story of the two attempting to catch a predator who has been putting rubbish in their bin, which, as Sammy J reminds us, is against council laws.
However tenuous the plot may be (I still question whether it has enough development to last an hour), you’ll quickly discover it’s not really necessary to analyse. The events that follow therein are just a vehicle for the team to banter and play for laughs, which they do extremely successfully.
They poked fun at being on hold for an hour (as they lock themselves out of their home, and the alarm system accuses them of being sex offenders), sing songs featuring various pieces of fruit, and of course, make fun of various members of the audience. Indeed, the more “serious” aspects of the show were still hilarious; Randy’s backstory of love and hardship featured in song was peppered by random facts about life from Sammy J (including those about Belinda Carlisle), and the ultimate denouement was still handled with frivolity.
The pair’s musical ability should also be highlighted. Sammy J’s piano (and keytar) multi-tasking skills held the more intimate numbers together well, and were a lovely contrast to the bigger production numbers. Indeed, it was nice to see Sammy emerge from behind the piano to dance and play with Randy; the pair’s chemistry and energy is outstanding.
It’s also a testament to the skill of the pair that the show was relaxed enough to cover spontaneous mistakes. The show was particularly off-one for them, and they covered it with professionalism and enjoyed the little mess- ups, which doesn’t often happen.
One note I would provide was regarding sound. Using stage microphones the pair were free to move and sing as needed, with the sound level up high enough to support their voices. However, because the show required so much energy (and occasionally yelling), I noticed their voices were tiring early and thought they should rely more on the excellent sound team they had at their disposal.
Bin Night was hilarious! I enjoyed myself immensely. Go see it… and don’t think too much.
2011 MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL COMEDY FESTIVAL
VENUE: The Hi Fi (MOVED TO BIGGER VENUE TO MEET DEMAND)
TIME: 7pm (Sun 6pm)
DATES: 31 Mar – 24 April (excl Mon)
2011 SYDNEY COMEDY FESTIVAL
VENUE: The Metro
DATES: Sat 30th April & Sun 1st May