Balancing the playfulness of childish energy with the humour for an adult audience, Double Denim is an exercise in absurdism. Equally ridiculous and funny, the comedy show goes sailing past the fourth wall and into meta mode without coming across as overly forced. With a healthy dose of catchy music, vibrant costume changes, and horrendous accents, Double Denim loosely explores the concept of friendship via the sinking of a cruise ship called Friendship near a jungle island. It also makes for a good laugh.
The performers, Laura Frew and Michelle Brasier, work very well together, and clearly know their craft. The two women put on an act that makes them appear as though they are just a couple of girls having fun on stage, whilst obviously having elements of well-written dialogue, filled with funny punchlines and zany characters. Yet this well-crafted script was complemented by strong improvisation. They clearly had improvised lines that the other was not expecting at all, but they were, for the most part, able to roll with whatever came out of the other one’s mouth. In this way the show felt less like a structured narrative or comedy act, and more like a stream of consciousness – with the audience taken along for the ride.
Be warned, there is audience participation required at some points in the show. If singing along, flashing torches, or just interacting physically with the performance is not for you, then you may want to sit towards the back of the room. Although nothing serious happened, there was lots of flailing arms and legs, water being sprayed, and other more intimate methods of engaging the audience which were in equal parts funny and ridiculous. These audience interactions also helped shatter any remnant of the fourth wall, which was also a fun way of making the night both ridiculous and intimate. While the show was still a little rough around the edges, if you enjoy your comedy with a bit more inventiveness and human spark, then you will love Double Denim.
Double Denim 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.