Gravity Boots
Gravity Boots @ Holden Street Theatres – The Arch
8:00pm, Wed 13 Mar 2013
Ever since I first caught sight of Gravity Boots, I’ve been a massive fan of their work – I really believe they are the Kings of Surrealist Sketch Comedy, which may sound like a niche market, but it really shouldn’t be. They’re also one of the few acts that I will shift my après-Fringe life around for… I’ve seen them many times during non-Mad-March, which is all-the-easier now that they’re producing a new hour of material every month.
But this show represents their first Fringe show under the direction of the utterly bizarre Paul Foot – and I’m insanely curious to see how his input has shaped the ‘Boots that I know and love. And I’m shattered when I check how many pre-paids there are for this show: “about five,” I’m told, and my heart sinks.
But the crowd gets into double figures, and there’s plenty of friendly faces and cheer in the audience, so there’s a genuine sense of anticipation when Austin Harrison-Bray hops onto the stage barefoot and starts strumming his guitar in ambient support. And when the ‘Boots take to the stage, it’s a fantastic selection of the best sketches they’d worked on in the months prior: the Antarctic expedition. The SoCal mermen playing tennis between their tanks. It’s exactly what I’d expect from The Boys, but better: surrealism has a way of invigorating expectations, doesn’t it?
As for Foot’s influence… well, the Antarctic expedition felt much tighter and focussed than in the preview show the previous November; and the sketch featuring panthers had some fierce writing that wasn’t completely typical of their work that I’d seen in the past. But other facets of the Gravity Boots persona – the recurrent long-johns, the weird collection of voices, and the absolutely world-class sense of storytelling – are still present, and they alone ensure that Gravity Boots remain the best (and most bizarre) sketch comedians at the Fringe.
— Pete Muller (@festivalfreakAU) March 13, 2013