Even at this year’s eccentric Fringe, you’d be hard pressed to find anything else like Aunty Donna. No doubt University of Ballarat actors-turned-sketch comedians Mark, Zach, and Broden have spent months on their latest show New Show. And yet with what seems like effortless grace, they snap from each bizarre high point to the next, impossible to pin down.
Not only did New Show feel like a uniquely Aunty Donna experience, it also captured something rather special about the Palace Nova as a venue. Only in the velvet seats of the Palace Nova could you feel so comfortable being uncomfortable. Sometimes they were immature, sometimes they were rude, sometimes they were off-the-wall zany – but the whole time they were funny. And they made the most of the Nova’s tiered theatre, playing with the lighting, music and visual options afforded them by the space, and occasionally even roaming through the audience and running up and down the aisles.
Even beset by microphone problems, as well as some particularly unfortunate audience interactions, the on-stage trio seemed blessed with boundless energy.
Zach: “What do you do?”
Audience member: “I’m a dementia nurse.”
Broden: [heckling from the audience] “Yeah, go on, make a joke about that, funny man!”
The Aunty Donna boys are right to be enthused. They’re more tightly surreal than Salvador Dali’s suspenders. Go forth and consume them.