A very normal dinner with your parents

MFF23-A-very-normal-dinner-with-your-parents-photo-by-Ece-MustafoffSome people are close to their family, who are generally sane and balanced, and catch up regularly. The improvised performance A very normal dinner with your parents is not about that kind of family.

The show was created by Allen Dorsey, Ece Mustafoff and Kirsten Law, and this season will be presented by a changing line-up of improvisers. Two of the ensemble played Mum and Dad, and we punters were an assembled throng of their now-adult children, hearing updates from our parents’ lives around a mimed meal.

Before the show, crew asked waiting audience members questions, advising that responses would be worked into the show.

Some suggestions used certainly set the players on an odd course. On this night, “Dad” was an assassin. It’s a well-paid gig, which means “Mum” has time for other interests. (Such as producing up to 55 children for the Music Room?) The pair did well to keep a straight face amongst some quite wacky situations.

Story twists related to trips to Bunnings that might not be so innocent, wild neighbours, and the family’s origins. Whilst the players were capable with their improvising, sometimes lines were delivered from a dark corner of the stage, or the punchlines were somewhat predictable.

If you have often found that Improv doesn’t satisfy as much as a well written tale, this outing seems unlikely to challenge that impression.

However, a good number of the assembled “children” had some decent laughs at the committed lunacy produced on stage. If you find yourself in quite a silly mood at 6.00pm around Trades Hall, then come to “dinner”.

A very normal dinner with your parents
Festival Hub: Trades Hall – Music Room, Corner Lygon and Victoria Streets, Carlton
Performance: Thursday 11 October 2023
Season continues to 22 October 2023
Information and Bookings: www.melbournefringe.com.au

Image: A very normal dinner with your parents – photo by Ece Mustafoff

Review: Jason Whyte