The Umbilical Brothers: The Distraction

MICF-The-Umbilical-Brothers-The-DistractionUnbelievable human performance meets special-effects wizardry as The Umbilical Brothers present The Distraction in the Fairfax Studio – Arts Centre Melbourne as part of the 2021 Melbourne International Comedy Festival from 25 March – 18 April.

Do you love staring at screens? Are you staring at a screen right now? You should get out more. Specifically to a show that has an enormous screen smack-bang in the middle of it.

The Umbilicals take the energy of live performance and the spectacle of cinema and smash them together into a new show performed simultaneously on stage and the big screen. It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen, and nothing they’ve ever done, and it will blow your mind way more literally than you are expecting. The Distraction: enabling your screen addiction.

“David and I have always imagined movie-like visuals when creating and performing,” said Shane Dundas, the bald member of the Umbilicals. “This time you get to see what we’re imagining, right there onscreen in real time. We’ll be wrestling with live special effects. It’s going to be pretty freaky.”

The Umbilical Brothers are an international comedy phenomenon. Their unique mix of mind-bending comedy and back-breaking physicality has taken the world’s favourite Australian comedy duo to 40 countries – from stadiums supporting Robin Williams to stadiums supporting N’Sync.

Named as two of Entertainment Weekly’s 100 Most Creative People In Entertainment, they have appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, after James Brown at Woodstock ’99 and before the Queen of England. Their global gigs have included a year long off-Broadway run where they received raves from The New York Times and a New York Drama Desk nomination.

Awards include a Helpmann for Comedy Performance of the Year, the Edinburgh Critics’ Choice Award and a couple of BAFTAs. Younger fans and stoners know them from The Upside Down Show, which they created with Sesame Workshop and which won them an Emmy and a Logie.

They haven’t just broken the rules of theatre; they’ve invented a new theatrical multiverse. It feels so much like magic, you’ll want to burn them at the stake.

“Exquisitely crafted physical humour and sheer imaginative brilliance.” – The Australian

The Umbilical Brothers: The Distraction
Fairfax Studio – Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Season: 25 March – 17 April 2021
Bookings: or

Playhouse – QPAC, Cultural Precinct, Southbank (Brisbane)
Season: 27 Apr to 2 May 2021

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: The Umbilical Brothers (supplied)