Melbourne Fringe 2012

The Misery Factory

0 Comments 12 October 2012

This is Siberian Husky are known for their energetic stage presence and wit akin to that of John Cleese. Their Melbourne International Comedy Festival hit Boneshaker received a Brian McCarthy Memoir Moosehead Award earlier this year; therefore, when the pair debuted The Misery Factory at Trades Hall earlier this week, the expectations were high.

Set in a dystopian future, comedians Dan Alleman and Simon Godfrey created a world where being flogged to death is your best Christmas present and trying to shove koalas into a bottle is a hobby. It’s an oh-so-camp and devilishly addictive satire of industrialism.

An obvious virtue of this comedy was its fluidity. The Misery Factory shifted swiftly between each sketch with transitions that were executed through definitive body movements, lighting and sound effects. It is a known fact that This is Siberian Husky orchestrate their own music, write their own scripts, and create their own sound effects. This heavy production involvement was evident in the duo’s impeccable timing.

Godfrey and Alleman were never too slow to miss a joke, and showcased their adroitness by incorporating first-night-bloopers, such as Alleman misjudging a backwards step, into the skits seamlessly. Black humour pervades the comedy, a humour that the audience revelled in with their boisterous laughter and steadfast attention.

It’s the pairs’ delivery and combination of scintillating witticisms that make The Misery Factory so fantastic.

There are absurd witticisms that make you question your own sanity, slap-stick comedy, unorthodox ironies and language puns that help to create flow, rhythm and progression for the overall comedy. This adds depth to the satire, shifting The Misery Factory from forty-five minutes of pure sketch comedy to a profound story about human existentialism.

This is Siberian Husky’s characters were vast and eclectic. Alleman channeled his reservoir of accents, while Godfrey brings his sympathetic portrays of piteous characters with accurate mimicry. It made each sketch diverse, unique and just as characteristically hysterical. Also, This Siberian Husky can act, and well.

An uncanny aspect of The Misery Factory was how each sketch merged into a larger storyline, reminiscent of British classics such as Blackadder, Monty Python’s Flying Circus and A Bit Of Fry & Laurie. This development established an empathy with the crowd that allowed This Siberian Husky to intersperse sporadically profound moments in the comedy that added an ironic wisdom, despite the show’s title.

Overall The Misery Factory is a collusion of dark humour, thespian farce, coupled with unorthodox quips set to the paradigm of a dystopian, industrial future. Miserable, jovial, and deliciously hilarious at best, The Misery Factory by This is Siberian Husky is a must see this Fringe Festival.

The Misery Factory runs until 13 October at the Evatt Room, Trades Hall. Full ticketing information can be found on the Fringe Festival website.

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