Normal Human Responses

Normal Human Responses
Dairy Kweenz. Speakeasy HQ. Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2017. April 20 – 22, 2017

The beauty of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival is you don’t know what you’re getting until you arrive.

Going in blind, I was expecting to see stand-up comedy. Instead, I got a comedy troupe doing something fun. Something absurd.

Two elements make up Normal Human Responses.

The first of these is the through line: a researcher (Taylor Griffiths) is conducting research into normal human responses to emotional stimuli.

The second component, featuring the ensemble of Lena Moon, Jess Hagan, Filip Lescault, and Colwyn Buckland, is a series of sketches that build in absurdity.

When a show opens with multimedia, it rarely works. A multimedia opening prevents engagement with the audience. But here it worked for two reasons.

First, it served as a TV-style opening credit that set up the episodic nature of the show.

Second, Taylor Griffiths was in character as she greeted punters and thus a connection was formed.

If I had one suggestion for improvement, the show ended so abruptly that the audience needed to be told “That’s the show” before we applauded.

If you’re looking for stand-up comedy like I was expecting, you won’t find it in Normal Human Responses.

But if you like sketches — think the absurdism of Monty Python meeting the social satire of The Simpsons —an hour with the Dairy Kweenz team will entertain you.

Daniel G. Taylor

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