Review: Ben Russell & Xavier Michediles – No Show
If you’re after a spot of late night strange sketchy stand up (or stand uppy sketch), No Show is the show for you. It’s self-aware, self-parodying, self-fellating comedy at it’s peak, and it’s delightful.
“Two veteran festival performers have come to a crossroads,” reads the show description. “It’s opening night of their brand new show and no one has purchased a ticket. With an empty room and 55 minutes to fill, the duo analyse their professional past and contemplate the future of their act.”
Russell, the more wizened of the two, realises the truth of the performance and seeks to hide it from Michediles. Michediles’ character is the more buoyant one, passionate about creativity and Performance. Russell is his own strange version of a straight man; intensely physical, utterly engaged in the stage work, yet intellectually disengaging from his fellow performer. The two wear theatre blacks, and are slapping each other about when the audience walks in, setting the absurd tone immediately.
No Show contains every type of humour you can think of. Couched in the meta premise is ongoing narrative, character work, musical segments, prop play, and dick jokes. The sound and light design is well incorporated as both a compliment and a compounding effect to the comedy. It’s a strange world that Russell & Michelides let us observe, and while there are a handful of lulls, the structure of the show is such that it all picks up again, only to leave you dazed and giggling at the end.
At the least, the audience are definitely there, and they’re laughing really hard.
No Show is on at 11:15pm at the Imperial Hotel until the 17th of April, with no shows on Mondays. Tickets cost $15 – $20 and are available online and at the Imperial box office.