‘Are you kid-ing me?’ is an exceptionally funny play written by Keely Molony, a Curtin University graduate with a degree in creative writing and visual design. This play was written for FRINGE 2020 and is presented by a talented rabble of Curtin theatre students, Un/BALANCED Kháos.
How often does one see a puerile Fringe show that has been flung together just so the actors can get their names on this year’s programme? Every year there are some appalling scripts and many under rehearsed actors. However – hallelujah – this hour-long show that has curtain up at 7.00 pm, is fast paced, superbly presented and hilarious. The short season is at Lazy Susan’s, above the Brisbane Hotel, Beaufort Street, North Perth finishes very soon.
The scene: a brick walled, café courtyard. The set: A low stage is about 30 cms above floor level. There are some tiered auditorium seats.
The set is a bare pink brick wall that represents an enclosed café patio. There are a couple of melamine tables and café chairs.
The lighting and sound design are by Calum Christie.
Two friends, Hayden (Ethan Milne) and Elliot (Cait Griffiths) sleep in the same bed – but purely for convenience! They have decided to form a company of entertainers for children’s parties and have asked anyone who is especially talented to come to the café’s courtyard to be interviewed and for an audition. The couple are shown to their table by an enthusiastic singing waiter (Christian Dichiera) and his mentally vacant handyman friend, Brock (J. Mutta’ Beilby). As the waiter set the table, Gwyneth (Alex Hutchings) a man with a spliff behind each ear, floated into the café on a chemical trip. Two young women Cassie (Amber Anderson) and Jodi (Emily Bell) explain how they have been to many parties, each treating the children and adults with their own speciality. Regularly, from the back of the room came advice from their good friend Chris (Calum Christie). Then Jungle Julien (Travis Koch) entered, a real outback character that can handle any Aussie creature, except scorpions, one of which was soon found by smartly dressed Noah (Samuel Addison). The dramas and panic continue as another half dozen weirdos call for auditions.
The writer, Keely Molony was also the director, often a risky business, but in this case she succeeded magnificently. By using several entry points around the auditorium, the next character would be entering whilst the previous left. This kept the pace cracking along at an unrelenting pace. The madcap storyline was well conceived and the characters – some actors played several parts – instantly recognisable. With Keely’s top-rate direction, her wacky but superbly constructed dialogue came to life. Cait and Ethan were on stage for almost the whole show, never faltering as they coped with the chaotic events, all delivered straight-faced. This was one of the funniest shows that I have seen in years. Every cast member was most credible and gave their performances with amazing skill. HILARIOUS.