New Art Club - Big Bag of Boom

MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL COMEDY FESTIVAL: Contemporary dance is ripe for satire, which is exactly what these UK choreographers turned comedians do – and brilliantly.
New Art Club - Big Bag of Boom
You don’t have to be familiar with contemporary dance to enjoy the hilarious satire performed by UK duo New Art Club (dancers/choreographers Tom Roden and Pete Shenton), but if you are, it’s sure to enrich what is already an excellent and engaging performance.

Both talented artists in their own right, for their first visit to Australia the duo once famously described as “Morecambe and Wise at Sadler's Wells” are performing an award-winning ‘greatest hits’ package, Big Bag of Boom, comprised of the highlights of their ten year career to date.

The show sees Roden and Shenton creating “significant space” in a piece which successfully displays both their comedic talents and their poise and precision; utilising a simple form of audience participation (asking the audience to close and open their eyes when requested) in order to create a series of delightfully ridiculous tableau based around an urn and a plinth; and generating gales of laughter in a range of sketches which reference everything from an inspired Isadora Duncan at the Louvre to the violent actions of the IRA.

Not everyone will get the joke – on the night I saw them, an entire family sat stony-faced across the aisle from me, at one point looking around in bewilderment as if to try and spot what it was that everyone else was laughing at – but for audiences whose comedic tastes learn towards the absurd, New Art Club’s deranged folk dances with invisible children, colourful unitards, and inspired tributes to Australian icons are certain to have you in stitches.

Witty, silly, and highly recommended.

New Art Club
Big Bag of Boom
The Bosco, City Square
March 31 – April 24

Melbourne International Comedy Festival
March 30 - April 24

For more festival coverage see our dedicated MICF mini-site.

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Richard Watts

Monday 11 April, 2011

About the author

Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on community radio station Three Triple R FM, a program he has hosted since 2004.

Richard currently serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management, and was formerly the Chair of Melbourne Fringe. The founder of the Emerging Writers' Festival, he has also served as President of the Green Room Awards Association and as a member of the Green Room's Independent Theatre panel. 

He is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and in 2017 was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Festival Living Legend.

Twitter: @richardthewatts