fringe: trash test dummies

adelaide fringe: trash test dummies
Trash Test Dummies is just good fun.

They don't try to be too many things, and what they do do they do well.

The Dummies are Melbourne trio Jamie Bretman, Jack Coleman and Simon Wright (or as I kept thinking of their characters internally... the veteran, the joker and the apprentice).

I realised that I have a fondness for shows where the performers are already on stage when the audience enters (for example, last year's Dirty Fairy Tales)... and the Dummies do this well... the venue had bits of trash all over the place and as the Dummies are garbos they go around cleaning up before the show... Bretman even dusted off my chair before I sat down which was very sweet.

However, be warned, they may also make off with your phone! Or your bag... but they do return everything eventually.

The show really starts when the wheelie bins come into play... and they use those bins as everything from hiding spots, percussion instruments, climbing frames, costumes and even a chariot.

Their tricks are often simple enough, but the addition of the bins does add a unique aspect, especially to the club juggling routine at the end... and the occasion bout of real-time slow-mo also works really well.

But the main thing that sets this show apart is the personalities of the three Dummies and the fact that the show is incredibly funny.

Wright is delightfully dopey as the "apprentice" and also does that walking ladder trick which I always like. Coleman seems to be the acrobat of the group... or at least he's the one who usually ended up upside down or at the very top of the tent or being flipped upside down by one of the other Dummies. And Bretman is an adorable bear of a performer who acts as the anchor (always an important but underrated job) for a lot of the flipping and tumbling.

And the choice of music is also really great... from 2001 to The Matrix to Swan Lake to The Powerpuff Girls theme (actually that last one was a sequence that made me laugh my ass off). The fact that they also don't speak beyond random yells and grunts definitely adds to the overall performance.

Because it's an early show at 5:30pm, the crowd was a little sparse, which is disappointing, because they really deserve big crowds every night... so go and see them damnit! It'd be a great after work de-stresser! Or it's a good show for the whole family.

Oh, and buy a little wheelie bin from the boys after the show too... they're just too damn cute (and for the record I'm referring to both the bins and the boys).

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