Review: Ben Volchok Presents
Do you love puns? Do you love classic British humour? Do you love laughing until you can’t breathe? Then Ben Volchok has the show for you!
Tucked away in the back of the heritage Tasma Terrace building is a cosy, welcoming room that may or may not be haunted. This makes it the perfect to catch two new radio plays about the supernatural, spies, scandalous adventures.
First over the airwaves is a British supernatural crime mystery so dense with puns it’s a wonder Volchok managed to fit any plot in at all. But he manages it, layering the cake into a perfect 20-minute capsule of comedy that swept up the audience and carried it along to its hilarious conclusion.
For the second course the audience is spun to the other side of the globe for “Prue Blue: Outback Spy Hunter” a crime caper with a slew of delectable characters, delicious voices, and many, many more puns. The pace never lets up for a second and the audience is swept along in an charming romp of a final course.
At this point I have to make a small disclaimer: I know Ben, which built to the very best moment of the show, when I realised that I’d forgotten what his real voice sounds like. He slips in and out of characters and accents so naturally it’s astonishing. Volchok is a seasoned performer, having put together six of his own productions in the last few years, and the experience in on show here. A couple of minor technical issues were handled deftly, maintaining poise and holding the audience.
If you’re anything like me the last and possibly best feature of the show – there’s no audience participation. You’re safe to sit up the front, settle in, and relax knowing that no madmen are going to drag you up in front of your friends and demand that you be funny.
Both shows are a tribute to classic British humour, and Volchok maintains the perfect straight-faced silliness to pull it off. So if you’re up for a rollicking good time, run, don’t walk into the Ben Volchok radio station that is Ben Volchok Presents.
Ben Volchok Presents runs every night at 7pm from 9 – 22 April at Tasma Terrace as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Tickets available through the Comedy Festival website.