UTG Review @ Melbourne International Comedy Festival: The Umbilical Brothers – ‘KiDShoW (Not Suitable For Children)’

umbilical brothers

Melbourne International Comedy Festival Review
Comic: The Umbilical Brothers
Show: KiDShoW (Not Suitable For Children)

Slapstick superstars, The Umbilical Brothers–Dane (David Collins) and Shavid (Shane Dundas)–brought their considerable talents back to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival this year for an opening night performance of their latest comedic creation, KiDShoW (Not Suitable For Children), and what a performance it proved to be.

A profoundly dark, twisted and undeniably funny re-imagining of the classic children’s television format, KiDShoW finds The Umbilical Brothers in sparkling form, as they utilise their contrasting comedic talents to deliver multiple laughs per minute across the duration of the 75-minute show.

Clearly taking inspiration from their actual children’s television show The Upside Down Show, KiDShow sets its premise early as Dane and Shavid play the role of a couple of children’s TV hosts who slowly but surely become aware that their audience is in fact full of adults.

The journey to this ultimate realisation is a joyously entertaining one with the two performers showcasing their full range of talents including hilarious exhibits of the physical comedy, mime and sound manipulation that have long been their calling cards.

The first third of the show, while absolutely hilarious in its own right, (thanks largely to some wholly original riffs on the nature of the theatrical fourth wall, television censorship and some cleverly covered up drug deals) does a nice job of introducing the show’s narrative, laying the ground work for the ultimate payoff that comes once the uncomfortable realisation that the audience is full of adults kicks in.

That realisation is met with the pair coming to the conclusion that “only perverts would attend a kids show without bringing their children” and thus begins the descent into one of the more delightfully inappropriate 50 minutes of comedy you’ll ever experience.

The laughs come thick and fast as the duo adapt the show to suit the tastes of their ‘perverted’ audience, crossing such taboo subjects as homicide, infanticide, child molestation and hardcore drug use, all the while managing to progress the narrative towards its wholly unexpected payoff.

That payoff comes in the form of the graphic annihilation of the Brady Bunch, in a 10-minute sequence of events that once witnessed, may never be forgotten.

While by no means as effortlessly relatable as previous works (and given the nature of the content, absolutely not suitable for the family audience they can usually be relied upon to cater for), KiDShoW (Not Suitable For Children) is an absolute triumph and I found it to be the Umbilical Brothers’ funniest show to date.

So head out on a school night and allow yourself to embrace your inner child before witnessing the Umbilical Brothers ensure that those beloved childhood memories are never, ever the same again — in the best way possible.

SCORE: 4.5/5
The Umbilical Brothers’ KiDShoW (Not Suitable For Children) is on now at The Playhouse Theatre.
A full list of dates and ticket details can be found here

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