Tag: Thomas McDonald

Melbourne Fringe 2017: TRASH TEST DUMMIES

Fresh and funny school holiday entertainment

By Rebecca Waese

They sure make a mess but the Trash Test Dummies clean up with extraordinary acrobatic, goofball, bellyaching fun. As my daughter and I entered the Emerald City this Fringe Festival, the trio had already begun with gentle slapstick antics to clean up the rubbish and get imaginations rolling. It was a terrifically entertaining blend of physical comedy, clowning, and interactive fun for the whole family.

Trash Test Dummies.jpg

Dummies Thomas McDonald, Isaac Salter and Leigh Rhodes – fit and farcical with endearing circus personalities – have more adventures than you could imagine with wheelie bins that turn into giant trucks, jack-in-the-boxes, chariots of fire, and teetering towers of gravity-defying human versus bin-balancing stunts. Soundtracks add to the hilarity when the trio carries us into the worlds of Batman, The Lion King, an awkward ballet from Swan Lake and a terrific Great Escape scene.

The Dummies got down and dirty with the audience, crawling over our seats, pelting us with soft balls, tissues, fake flowers and lots of clowning chaos, inviting kids to throw everything back at them and be a part of the action. The flavor of the show suited adults too with some references that were clever and topical.

The hat and pin-juggling scenes were top-notch and the Dummies, while near-perfect, were even fun when they missed the occasional toss and did push-ups for punishment. The slow-motion collisions and frenzied ‘pass the bomb’ bit kept us riveted.

While you’d best not hire these guys for a regular rubbish gig, you’d be lucky to catch them at the Fringe for an hilarious hour of interactive circus silliness and physical comedy. Selling out overseas at the Edinburgh Festival and winning best children’s show at Adelaide Fringe in 2015 and 2016, the Trash Test Dummies will leave you smiling. Kids were so enthralled by the Dummies, they cleaned up the stage for them and jockeyed for high fives after the show. Highly recommended, Trash Test Dummies is a great choice for school holiday Fringe festival fun.

Venue: Emerald City – The Gingerbread House

Dates: Sept 25-30, 2 pm

Tickets: https://www.melbournefringe.com.au/event/trash-test-dummies/

Rebecca Waese is an Honorary Associate at La Trobe University in the Department of Creative Arts and English

REVIEW: …we should quit for MELBOURNE FRINGE

Office slog needs a lift

By Myron My

In …we should quit two workers stuck in their monotonous daily grind find their routine broken and suddenly find themselves in a sea of chaos.

We Should Quit

The opening moments are promising with the environment being well set up and clearly placing Thomas McDonald as the straight man to Morgan Wilson’s wackiness but I feel like this show never took off.

Describing itself as physical comedy, it was disappointing to find the show lacking in both. It took close to twenty minutes for the first circus trick to happen and this was followed by long gaps between. There are moments when the comedy and clowning works really well, such as the yawning competition but most of it unfortunately misses the mark.

A circus show doesn’t require a strong focus on story but …we should quit really needs to find some sort of structure or end-point as I ended up feeling like I was watching a sketch comedy show on loop. I understand they are showing the repetition that these workers endure but seeing the same act three times, like the button-pushing, can be trying on the audience.

Having seen these artists perform with aplomb earlier this year in NICA’s circus showcase, I was expecting more with this show. McDonald and Wilson are both skillful circus performers yet I don’t feel that they allowed their strengths to shine through. There didn’t seem to be any build-up to any of the acts and the times when things looked promising but ultimately fizzled or didn’t lead anywhere, such as the blackboard scene.

Morgan and Tom have the potential for good comic timing and they play extremely well off each other. They are endearing to the audience and have strong charm and charisma but a one-hour show not much seems to happen apart from seeing two mates goofing about and is a bit much to sit through.

Venue: Gasworks Arts Park, 21 Graham St, Albert Park

Season: Until 05 October | 9:15pm and Saturday 3:30pm

Tickets: $20 /$16 Conc

Bookings: www.gasworks.org.au, 9699 3253 or http://www.melbournefringe.com.au, 9660 9666