Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Review: Poopie Tum Tums

6 June 2019

Signing up to review an unnamed sketch comedy show that your editors placed up for grabs in the Media Collective Facebook group is like a Tinder date. You get dressed up, agree to meet up at a bar couple hours after dark and hope that it would not end with you feeling violated in any way. I wish I could say that I walked out of Poopie Tum Tums with a sore stomach and a thirst for more, but alas, that was not the case. My housemate (whom I begrudgingly dragged to this 10pm show) and I both walked of The Butterfly Club feeling very disturbed and confused.

Poopie Tum Tums starts begins with Honor Wolff and Patrick Durnan, donned in massive fur coats, exclaiming that the show was cancelled, before being ‘urged’ by the audience to perform in their place. The show is an hour of unrelated sketch comedy, slightly uncoordinated dances and sex jokes. Their sketch about 1960s schoolgirls had me howling with the crowd; although their next sketch about 1970s schoolboys left an uncomfortable taste in my mouth. I do appreciate a sex joke here and there but a whole sketch about mutual masturbation was pushing the envelope. The torn-up vagina at the end of a sketch about embracing body hair was rather shocking reminder that only you get the say in what you want to do with your body hair.

The show is meant to be a comedy show without any comedy, a raunchy sketch comedy that pushes the boundary for what can and shouldn’t be said on stage. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, with Wolff and Durnan breaking character every now and then. The pair have a strong stage presence amazing chemistry between them. The acting is over the top and dramatic, the dancing sloppy and the overall show has the ‘we put in effort into this, but not too much’ vibe to it. I have to admit, their ability to recreate all sorts of sex noises is impressive. Like a first date, the pair tries to impress with one-liners and ‘woke’ political standing, but these efforts end up rather futile as the 20th dick joke rolls around and you’re left wondering whether they are trying to accomplish something.

Overall, Wolff and Durnan are an unexpected, talented duo. Their show is unique and definitely an acquired taste. Whilst I enjoyed parts of it, like most first dates, I left the bar needing a tall drink and something to take my mind off the experience.

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