‘It’s very fun to be the most extra version of yourself’ – an interview with Double Denim
After receiving a Golden Gibbo Nomination for their 2017 Melbourne International Comedy Festival show, comedy duo Double Denim have returned with Double Denim Adventure Show! Michelle Braiser and Laura Frew bring their high-energy, 2000s infused soundtracks and double denim to the stage of Belleville. Part safari, part murder mystery, Double Denim Adventure Show is contiki gone wrong. Laura Frew took some time to explain to Sam Jones exactly what that means.
How much introspection on your own experiences was needed to develop your characters? Or are they more an amalgamation of our collective growing up experience?
Not too much, our characters are basically us at their essence, plus 50 bags of wizz fizz and no filter. It’s very fun to be the most extra version of yourself, although if we were like that all the time I think I would die from exhaustion.
More introspection comes into play when recounting embarrassing stories from our pasts, eg: breakups and bowel movements in public places. It’s so relatable, we’ve all pooed somewhere we shouldn’t have, right? Please say yes. We’re just like you.
How much of your show would is scripted and how much is based off the energy of the audience on the night?
We have a beautifully written script that we spent countless hours refining; making sure every joke, cue point and stage direction was accounted for… which we throw straight in the bin as soon as something better is happens on stage. Our technicians hate us. Haha.
Your shows encourage people to to laugh at themselves, do you think that this is something we should all do more?
Absolutely. I think it makes the world a better place to live. Our aim is to try to get each other to laugh on stage, then we know we’ve done alright. We are each other’s favourite comedians (nahhh… we don’t take this stuff seriously. My favourite is David O’Doherty, he is the comic philosopher of our time. I’m too scared to talk to him)
Nostalgia obviously plays a crucial role in your shows, how did you land on this as a theme for your comedy?
It was with the early 2000’s music that features heavily in our first show. We love that stuff on a road trip or D-Floor. Then it spiralled out from there with the Double Denim costumes. I mean originally it was just the name of our show and now it’s the name of the group, it’s all been an accident.
But why we’ve stuck with it is, that instant joy you get flipping through an old dolly magazine or a nostalgic Buzzfeed post; 10 things you can’t believe you did in 2003, fashion trends from 1998 that will leave you gagged. Instantly takes you back to your teen years which is so much fun cos we were all such idiots then.
I guess we write about what we know, which is as it turns out is the band B*witched and vodka cruisers. Classy!
What’s your favourite song from the early 2000s?
Laura says: Boom Boom Boom Boom by the Vengaboys is a eurodance masterpiece and will defy anyone who says otherwise. And Michelle’s ringtone is ‘Get on Up’ by Five. Also we’ve recently been getting into Peter Andre. What of it?
Given that we live in a world where some idiots are still asking if women can be funny, do you feel that being professionally hilarious is a political/rebellious act?
I would hope not, but I’d say for some people it is. I’m the first to admit, our material is not particularly political or satirical. But when we set out to make this show, the aim was to be two comedians on stage, regardless of their gender, being funny as fuck. This was an actual conversation we had, which therein lies the problem. Obviously gender doesn’t play any role in how funny you are! I’m still shocked to hear those sentiments coming out of people’s mouths when we have brilliant, hilarious women like Anne Edmonds, Hannah Gadsby and Tessa Waters in the public eye. I would invite anyone who feels that way to go see one of the above women and try not to laugh.
You’re both successful comedians in your own right too. What made the two of you decide to work together?
Awww shucks, I mean Michelle is pretty amazing. We started off working with some friends a few years ago on a Game of Thrones musical. But after a hard Edinburgh the band called it quits, however Michelle and I didn’t want to. We kept coming up with great show ideas but didn’t know if anyone else would get them. After some drinks in some cool Melbourne bar one night, were catching a packed tram home. We were both balancing by holding the hand rails and she said something which I can only assume was hilarious and I high fived her armpit instead of her hand, Michelle did it straight back. The other passengers erupted with laughter and we thought… we better keep doing this. I put our success down to our armpits. This is also the reason we will keep working together. Armpits.
Your previous show has been described as a kids party for grown ups. So the real question is, when making fairy bread do you use sprinkles or hundreds and thousands?
Hundreds and thousands. Derrr!
The two of you are dropped in a jungle; who ends up eating whom?
I think we would make a decision float out onto the ocean holding hands like sea otters and accept our fate, hopefully a quick death being eaten by a shark. Eating each other is not an option.
Would you rather fight one Dwayne Johnson sized duck, or 100 duck sized Dwayne Johnsons; why?
Duck sized Dwaynes. Cos once we beat them, it would be like having heaps of little action men and we could make them reenact all the Fast and Furious movies. Unless tiny Dwaynes can combine like transformers to make a super Dwayne, then we are in trouble.
And of course – who else are you looking forward to seeing at this year’s MICF?
Travelling Sisters, Demi Lardner, Gillian Cosgriff, Aunty Donna, Tessa Waters, Zoe Coombs-Marr and SNORT!
Double Denim Adventure Show is on at 9:45pm at Belleville until 22 April (no wednesdays) as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Tickets are available via the MICF website.