Saturday 29 September 2018

Dudebox - Melbourne Fringe Festival review

DudeboxAnything men can do, women can do better right? Except for maybe comedy. Which is why comedian and performer Kimberley Twiner has gathered a few of her nearest and dearest dudes to present 60 minutes of some hilarious dudes being hilarious dudes. Except the 'dudes' in Dudebox are all non-dudes and the show is in fact a patriarchal takedown of the attitudes that men hold towards women and even that women have towards each other.

Joining Twiner are some of the finest 'dudes" in the comedy scene consisting of Becky Lou, Selina Jenkins (Beau Heatbreaker), Fox Pflueger, Lily Fish, Sharnema Nougar, PO PO MO CO and the ever delightful The Travelling Sisters. Together they present wonderfully entertaining and thought provoking acts that has the entire room laughing out loud at their ingenuity.

Of particular note is the 'feminist' hens night complete with penis themed glasses, drink cups and accessories that culminates in a fantastic male striptease that could be taken right out of Magic Mike performed by talented burlesque performer Becky Lou. Twiner's artistic interpretation of Nicholson Street in her tradie act, expertly takes her time in setting the scene and carefully developing a character in a short amount ending with some brilliantly timed big dick energy.

The running order for Dudebox ensures that there is variety between each act ranging from smaller solo clowning to large musical numbers. While they all support the theme of the show, they are still very different in their approach which results in an evening full of surprises, with Pflueger's hysterically absurd Lobster dance immediately coming to mind. The 'intermission', which is intended to give the audience a break from all the laughter creates the extreme opposite effect with The Travelling Sisters appearing as three muletted buffoons who conduct an audience auction.

Dudebox is intelligent and unapologetic in its exploration of men and women and the roles that they have been assigned to by society. Initially it may appear that Twinner and company are simply poking their fingers (and nipples) at the patriarchy, but further consideration has them smashing it with their subversive performances and declaration of what women are capable of.

Dudebox was performed as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival between 26 - 28 September 2018.

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