Sammy J & Randyland – FRINGE REVIEWS
By Caris Horton
The tall and impossibly lanky Sammy J is back in Perth with his purple felt comedic companion Randy to present to you their theme park dream.
The comedic duo have built up quite a following and the Perth Town Hall was completely sold out for a show in which one man and one puppet sing, dance and make us all laugh as they try to run their own carnival. Although, like infamous puppet musical Avenue Q, the word puppet doesn’t necessarily mean kid humour. Quite the opposite in fact.With multiple mentions of “puppet penis”, the humour was definitely more R-rated so no kids allowed!
The basic premise was a show in which the duo showed, through a series of flashbacks, the rise and fall of their (fake) dream carnival as man and puppet battle to take control over the theme park. This is a scripted play of sorts but you get to see everything from people getting eaten by orcas to a puppet inside a fake man costume. Trust me, it’ll make more sense once you’re there.
The show was technically impressive too with the duo pulling out all the stops to make their dream of a theme park come to life. Think shadow puppetry, a few costume changes and a large juicebox container that housed Randy for part of the show. They say you should never work with children or animals but they never said anything about puppets? The multiple puppeteers bringing Randy to life were pretty seamless with their transitions as Randy appeared to move about the stage, play dead, emote and generally be an R-rated puppet to everyone’s enjoyment.
The best moments would have been the times they went completely off script. Whether that was when they were giggling at their own off-the-cuff jokes or asking the audience to name a local Perth reference they could include, things quickly spiralled away from the main comedy script but the majority of the audience was laughing more than ever. A highlight would be the non-scripted revelation that they couldn’t use prop bowling balls on stage because last time they accidentally crushed a man’s foot in Melbourne yet still had to show them so they could be “tax deductible” balls.
All in all, this was one great show that did leave my face hurting afterwards because I was laughing almost non-stop. That’s how you know a Fringeworld show has left you happy and satisfied!
Sammy J & Randyland is still playing until February the 5th at the Perth Town Hall.
See the Fringeworld website for tickets and showtimes.