Dazza and Keif Reenact the Romeo + Juliet Movie Playing All the Roles

MFF23-Dazza-and-Keif-photo-by-Britt-Westaway-Art-and-DesignDazza (tall, in two pairs of sunglasses) and Keif (short, known to read sometimes) are two young macho dudes who like hanging out in tracksuits, talking about the ‘ladiez’ and shit, and breakdancing.

They also like to put on shows together so they can show off their mad skills, and it must just be a coincidence that this often requires kissing between their characters. They’ve brought another hour of high-energy action in Dazza and Keif Reenact the Romeo + Juliet Movie Playing All the Roles.

In the digital Melbourne fringe of 2020, these characters (created and performed by Danni Ray and Keely Windred) gave us Dazza and Keif Go Viral in Space with Ya Mum, a stupid show that was a very funny distraction from our pandemic trials.

More recently these homo-erotic boofheads recreated the film Titanic. It must have been successful, as now D&K turn their hand to Baz Lurhmann’s 1994 film Romeo + Juliet.

In an opening address, Dazza promised they’d recreate all the action of the story, less some of the boring chick bits. Here our star-crossed lovers of the feuding Montague and Capulet families are Romeo and Duzzliet. Dazza’s Mum also has insisted that his untalented cousin, eight-time VCA reject “Gay Jordan” (Justin Nott) be in the work.

Although mostly relegated to playing props, Nott adds another flavour to the bromance with his poncing, sourness, or pouting. His work in recreating key objects from certain film scenes is an amusing way to connect us to the source material.

The show zips along as tensions and passions escalate, aided by cameos from important characters from the film. Some in the house might struggle to hear Mercutio, but this might be sorted for shows after this preview. There’s no time to lose here, and Duzzliet – now at the ripe old age of 13 – clearly felt the need to be quite direct with her secret lover.

Throw in some rampaging choreographed dance routines, ridiculous death scenes, and a pumping soundtrack, and this is action that could shake the foundations of all the houses of Verona. Making a show this ridiculous look so coordinated shows the huge amount of effort that’s gone into polishing the work.

If we stop and think though, Dazza and Keif have now produced two tales where the main hetero couple don’t get a happily ever after. Does this hint at the tragedy of their relationship in their culture, where being mates is not quite enough, but being more is impossible? Fear not, for at least on the stage, D&K get to have a dramatic climax.

There’s some pretty overt content for a 6pm outing, so the show might not be for some. No matter, no Homo, and no spoilers – you will not quickly forget the lively ride of Dazza and Keif Reenact the Romeo + Juliet Movie Playing All the Roles.

Dazza and Keif Reenact the Romeo + Juliet Movie Playing All the Roles
Festival Hub: Trades Hall – Solidarity Hall, Corner Lygon & Victoria Streets, Carlton
Performance: Wednesday 18 October 2023
Season continues to 22 October 2023
Information and Bookings: www.melbournefringe.com.au

Image: Britt Westaway Art and Design

Review: Jason Whyte