Pros: Entertaining and easy-going; a great alternative to stand-up comedy for a fun night out.
Cons: The gags didn’t always run smoothly, giving a slightly amateurish vibe to the whole.
In preparation for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, The Travelling Sisters bring their new show to Camden’s Etcetera Theatre for a one-night preview. After a sold-out tour in Australia and consistent success in Edinburgh in 2015, the trio from Brisbane is back with a new selection of tragically ridiculous gags.
Lucy Fox, Laura Trenerry and Ell Sachs are seasoned performers and like to personally welcome the public into the auditorium, building from the start an interactive relationship that adds to the comic effect. There is also a game which involves passing an imaginary pork pie around the auditorium, and everyone seemed thrilled to participate.
The sketches are brief and punchy, relying on the physicality of the three actresses, but also on their excellent musical skills. The themes are varied, but they all seem to revolve around the silliness of daily life. With this mixed recipe of cabaret and stand-up comedy, The Travelling Sisters entirely captivate the attention of the their audience members, who are ready to respond to all of their challenges – including describing a recent amazing sexual encounter.
Every transition between sequences, like outfit changes and alterations to makeup, happens on stage. Helped by a variation on the lighting and the loud music, these moments are some of the funniest, thanks to the clumsy faffing about. The set is built to facilitate these transitions. The background is plain black and by a lateral wall stands a hanging rail with all the necessary costumes. On the opposite side there is a tea table with some wigs and makeup, together with a chair and a box to collect all the garments that have been already used.
My favourite scene was the theft of Edvard Munch’s painting The Scream, with two of the ‘sisters’ acting as the thieves, whilst the third impersonates the actual painting. Without using the spoken word, the whole adventure is mimicked with a droll use of body movements and facial expressions.
These three bubbly ladies are full of sparkle and don’t save their energy. Their fast-paced and light-hearted performance makes for an entertaining night out with friends, and offers a great alternative to the usual stand-up comedy. Have a couple of stiff drinks at the pub downstairs and go enjoy this sing-a-long and laugh-out-loud array of mishaps, where the artists on stage are clearly having as much fun as you, if not more.
Written, Directed and Produced By: Lucy Fox, Laura Trenerry and Ell Sachs
Booking Information: Find The Travelling Sisters at the Edinburg Fringe until 31 August 2016.