Together, Gaulier-trained Queenslanders, Lucy Fox, Laura Trenerry and Ell Sachs are The Travelling Sisters. It’s no accident that their Melbourne Fringe offering Thy Thus ‘Twas sounds like something with theatrical intentions that’s gone awry. As far as entertainment goes though, despite their eccentric approaches, this very physical trio hit all their marks.
Most recently The Sisters toured their show Toupé around Australia and New Zealand, and to the Edinburgh Fringe, gathering acclaim and awards. I remember adding the show on to a big night at Melbourne Comedy Festival 2018, and whilst being amused at the time can only vaguely recall eccentric episodes and manic energy.
In Thy Thus ‘Twas, The Travelling Sisters have had input in development from Kimberley Twiner (PO PO MO CO), and more of a plot. Three mullet-wearing boys in Queensland have a burning need to put on a play, possibly because there’s not much else going on in their town.
Redhead Darryl provides the drive behind the endeavour, his groin stretches whilst offering critiques suggesting he wants his troupe to compete hard in their artistic practice. But life’s tough when others are too limited to understand your vision. Darryl needs to direct blonde surfer Berrick’s abundant energy, and focus the easily-distracted Vinnie on learning his lines. Darryl also has the solo burden of organising the production.
At times our performers would play the mothers of the boys, allowing the story to expand in amusing directions of unbridled silliness. The Sisters have rare talents in conception and execution, able to surprise by having a scene advance in an unexpected direction, or far exceed the expectations we had formed.
This was only the second performance of this new show. It’s difficult to know if there was some deft improvisation, or much like Lano and Woodley, the group are so well rehearsed that their performance looks loose. It hardly matters if the truth here is betwixt and between the two possibilities as the laughter earned was vigorous and often.
So, for those souls still thinking upon the 2019 Melbourne Fringe programme, prithee consider Thy Thus ‘Twas – the unpredictable physical comedy thou needs as part of thine 2019 festivities.
The Travelling Sisters – Thy Thus ‘Twas
Fringe Hub: The Quilt Room – Trades Hall, Corner Lygon and Victoria Streets, Carlton
Performance: Friday 13 September 2019 – 7.30pm
Season continues to 20 September 2019
Information and Bookings: www.melbournefringe.com.au
Image: The Travelling Sisters (supplied)
Review: Jason Whyte