Review – Aunty Donna: Big Boys7 April 2017
Despite having seen them before, I had no idea what I was in for when I walked (down many, many stairs) into Aunty Donna’s newest show, Big Boys. My friend and I were forced to cease chatting almost immediately as we entered a room filled with smoke, flashing red lights and really fucking loud music. The group appear on stage with backs to us, in front of their DJ who wears a shirt that explains ‘I’m A Drum Boy’. Missing Drum Boy’s cue, they turn to us and begin to jump, gesture and thrust in a highly uncoordinated manner. Their dress pants fall down in unison. I am belly laughing from beginning to end.
Having sat in the middle of a middle row, I initially feel pretty safe from being victimised by audience interaction. But alas, I spend most of the show in fear after the group move their way through the crowd in the first 10 minutes, literally drumming on innocent heads. One of the boys yells at someone until they remove their shoes. He then wears these shoes like gloves.
The show offers no universal themes or thought provoking tales of woe, like much contemporary comedy does. From dancing to rapping to stabbing to motivational speaking, the whole thing is a mess of sporadic hilarity. My favourite part is a series of short sketches. A woman waits on her breakfast in a café for two months because she doesn’t want to seem rude in following it up. Acquainted dads pass each other several times in the grocery store and have to keep saying hello. Friends say goodbye without realising they’re walking the same way to the tram. These horrifyingly awkward everyday interactions are more relatable than anything else.
The group screw up their dialogue countless times. However, this is mostly the cause of one of the boys giggling at something the others are doing on the opposite side of the stage. Their genuine chemistry is obvious throughout the entirety of the show, and is really just rather sweet. They end they show by prompting us to go and see all the other festival acts, with whom they are close friends. I walk back up the stairs envious of a career that requires you to dance around and make jokes with your mates every night. Although watching funny things for free in exchange for a review is a pretty good gig too.