Angus and Demi are: Best Good Show
7:15pm, Wed 11 Feb 2015
So: I’ve always been a massive fan of Demi Lardner’s comedy (creepy fanboy alert: I once bought her an Andrew O’Neill t-shirt), but I’ve never actually seen her do a whole show… just five- or ten-minute spots in line-up events. Angus Brown, on the other hand, had never really made an impression one way or the other: his enthusiasm onstage is palpable, to be sure, but his material hasn’t quite hit the mark for me. But the opportunity to see Lardner and Brown together presented itself as part of the Producers’ opening night shenanigans, and was pretty hard to ignore; thus, I found my way into a decent-sized crowd that was bubbling with supportive positivity.
Best Good Show presents itself as sketch comedy, tenuously linked together with an absurd storyline: the two comedians have decided to go to a school for morticians, in a storyline that occasionally threatened to go into zombie territory (one of my pet hates), but instead just veered into semi-demonic happenstances that… kinda… sorta… went nowhere. And then wrapped up almost unexpectedly. Besides Angus and Demi themselves, there’s a few recurring characters (indicated by the slightest of changes – a cap, a limp, a strangled accent), and – my favourite – the duck non sequiturs, in which a duck would waddle onstage in-between sketches/scenes to unleash irrelevant “facts” before disappearing again, no explanation given.
And then, of course, there was a bit of audience participation… which is to say, Pete participation. On went a pigeon mask (onto which I attempted to apply my glasses, to almost-condescendingly polite laughter), and wings were applied to my arms… I can’t even remember the point of that sketch, but I’m not sure that’s a problem in a performance that’s as deliberately ramshackle as Best Good Show.
Lardner and Brown play everything for laughs – there’s (brilliantly) awful puns aplenty, and a wonderful physical contrast between Angus’ physique and Demi’s impossibly flexible dancing. And whilst there’s a feeling that Best Good Show might be a work-in-progress, I’m not sure that this was as unscripted as they would like us to believe; I’m not sure the intent is for this piece to evolve over time. But the enthusiasm and interplay of the two performers makes up for any shortcomings in the script, leaving a positive and likeable impression.
— Pete Muller (@festivalfreakAU) February 11, 2015