The Holy Kickons

The Holy Kickons
By Servo Pie. Ron Hurley Theatre, Seven Hills Hub, Brisbane. Bris Funny Fest. 7 August to 1 September, 2019.

Bris Funny Festis an independent fringe festival that showcases local up-and-coming talent with performances in cafes and bars across the city. Servo Pie have taken over the Ron Hurley Theatre for two nights. And, somewhere in The Holy Kickons’ muddled mess of loosely connected sketches is a reasonable idea for a comedy hour – a lament by male Millennials who are becoming too old, too tired, too broke and too attached to continue the good old Aussie ‘kickon’ – the tradition of ‘kicking on’ a big night out by drinking and partying back at a shared house. But this production takes too long to get its momentum and spends too much time digressing from the theme (as well as lengthy scene changes – although the noisy blackouts did get their own laughs). The skits sometimes showcased some confident performances, and were funny individually. However, editing and direction would avoid the skits being played like a leftover grab-bag of gags from a high-school end-of-camp concert. Sorry guys, you can present sexist, racist, homophobic and trans-phobic jokes by performing them in the guise of a dodgey stand-up comic, but that doesn’t make them funny – not even in a ‘post-modern, derivative way’. Although many of the packed-house audience obviously disagree with me.

Servo Pie is a Brisbane-based sketch group including writer and performer, Finbar Martinez-Bennett, actors Angus McLeod, Will Lambert and Skye Fellman – the only girl in the group. Yes, this troupe has Gen Y writ large, alongside the dominant Y chromosome. And, just as the ‘kick on’ is mainly a male domain, this show does suffer from its lack of girl power. Servo Pie’s promo video jokes about the difficulty of recruiting diverse cast members – but when the only other female characters are a blow-up sex doll and a cardboard cut-out glamour girl, you can see why there were so few takers.

Servo Pie’s take on this side of Australian culture will mainly appeal to its in-built audience of like-minded males. Although, there were many young and older women in the audience who also seemed to enjoy it. I put it down to the unerring audacity of the performers who remained undeterred, even by a hilarious, slow-moving projector screen that creaked into existence like a prop from a Jacques Tati film. Servo Pie bills themselves as ‘Brisbane’s most mediocre comedy group’, producing online and onstage material. Top marks for getting The Holy Kickons off the ground – there’s a classic Aussie show in there somewhere, but much more work is needed to release it from the shackles of frat-house humour.

Beth Keehn

Photos by Servo Pie

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