Melbourne Fringe 2012

The Wizard Sandwiches

0 Comments 30 September 2012

With just a touch of audience interaction to begin – nothing too intimidating – the audience is treated to a fast-paced hour of seemingly independent sketches by the Wizard Sandwiches in their self-titled show. These five gentlemen who met at Deakin University have dabbled in sketch comedy in a variety of different forms and their versatility is apparent from the moment the audience enters the theatre.

Nothing is sacred, and the show’s satirical nature includes topical skits on war, religion, serious illness and taxi drivers, but always stops short of being truly offensive. It is a fine line for comedians to tread – playing it too safe can earn you scorn from an audience, while leaping over the line of decency merely for the sake of being controversial is somewhat of an amateur move. The Wizard Sandwiches balance this line perfectly and the belly laughter from the audience was proof enough.

The show makes good use of music – clever, without being overused or relying too heavily on it for laughs. Special mention must go to Jake Ludowyke’s utterly side-splitting sound effects and the entire cast’s prowess with accents and facial expressions. There are times when the verbal comedy is outshone by the sheer hilarity of the physical. When I attended on the second night, there were a handful of lines tripped over, but recovery was so quick and effortless I found myself second-guessing if there had actually been a mistake at all. A small case of malfunctioning props was dealt with by Dylan Cole in a charmingly self-deprecating manner.

As the show goes on, certain subjects and jokes are revisited, but always with a new element which ends up increasing the humour and takes care to never tire the audience of the subject matter (Jarryd Clifford and Andrew Belsten’s ‘charades’ skit comes immediately to mind). Without giving too much away, moments to watch for include Stuart Daulman’s sadistic school principal, the Pingu tribute, a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Tazos reference and a hard-boiled detective Western involving nursery rhyme characters.

I would urge anyone with a penchant for quality sketch comedy to head to the Trades Hall to check this out.

The Wizard Sandwiches runs until 7 October at the Trades Hall – Annexe. Full ticketing information is available on the Fringe Festival website.

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