[2014025] Trash Test Dummies

[2014025] Trash Test Dummies

Almost Exactly Circus @ Gluttony – The Peacock

5:30pm, Tue 18 Feb 2014

A last-minute addition to The Shortlist on the suggestion of a friend, I had – for some reason – assumed that Trash Test Dummies started at 5:45pm; so when I got a terse “where are you?” phone call at 5:25pm, I had the opportunity to verify that it’s possible to run from home to Gluttony in four minutes. And that I still have a five-minute lag between physical exertion to emitting sweat. Which was nice, but it meant that I didn’t miss a moment of the show… from the front row, no less.

A troupe of three men from Melbourne, Almost Exactly Circus present a cheery collection of circusy tricks that (initially, at least) have one great hook: the use of wheelie bins. From the synchronised wheelie bin ballet that opens the show, to some clever hide-and-seek moments, to the three-way juggling as the guys perched atop their bins, they very much defined the flavour of the show, influencing the guys’ workmanlike costumes and acting as handy storage for props between tricks.

Around the wheelie-related material, there was some decent juggling (nice cutovers and swaps), some decent – if brief – balance work, and a little bit of ladder work that almost felt like a last minute addition to the show. From behind their makeup, the guys are all really engaging – the bearded chap, quite obviously the cleanest juggler of the three, was really expressive with his facial expressions – and the crowd got involved when we were coerced into pelting the group with plastic balls.

It’s all quite fun stuff… if you haven’t seen it before. And, to be honest, I’ve not seen a man moonwalking a wheelie bin before, nor have I seen such a silly woo-woo ambulance skit, and they enacted a great parody of The Matrix using bagged helium balloons that created a convincing impression of time slowing to a crawl. But so much of the rest of their material was very me-too-ish… but that’s my problem, not theirs. The Trash Test Dummies were fun and enjoyable, but didn’t differentiate themselves enough from similar acts to warrant a rave from this jaded Fringe-goer.

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