Office Party - Melbourne Fringe Festival
Office Party, The Ballroom, Lithuaniun Club, North Melbourne.
Words - Rowan Mahoney
Photos - Courtesy of Melbourne Fringe Festival
If you were expecting a bittersweet lamentation on the pathos-ridden atmosphere of modern corporate life, then you should probably stay home and rub bananas on all those scratches in your Office UK box set, you mouth-breathing loner.
If, however, you’re ready for the first-person musings of a paddock cow and the most perfectly delivered F-bomb I’ve seen in recent living memory, then congrats! Office Party is the Fringe show for you.
Tucked away in the ballroom of The Lithuaninan Club in North Melbourne is a show that if it hasn’t been commissioned for a pilot yet, damn well should be. The creative team behind Seemingly Evil Productions have produced a sharp, satirical, character-driven show that hurtles through endless sketches at breakneck speed, choosing to furnish the utilitarian stage design with nothing but larger-than-life impressions and the audience’s imagination. Think of it as a cross between Monty Python and Newstopia- or, for all the PodBook Pinstagrammers reading this, picture ABC’s The Roast without all that pesky political stuff (BIEBER, amirite?!?!1!)
Fair warning: you must have a taste for the absurd. How absurd? Well here are some personal favourites: a rip on Peter Harvey’s Mailbag that ends in the abduction and murder of the neighbour’s “squirrel”; recurring pro-Abbott propaganda that warns a change in government could lead to Roast Solar Panel with Wind Turbine Salad on our tables and our kids in prostitution school; a waiter called Mymeal who keeps getting complained about, and a 30-second sketch I haven’t quite been able to work out a name for, suffice it to say it involves people who really, really love moustaches.
Keep in mind that few of these sketches makes it past the 4 minute-mark, but it never feels unmanaged or haphazard- these are greatly written skits in the hands of skilled comedic actors, and you should do everything you can to catch it in its’ final days.
But honestly, trying to review this show is like trying to imbue Python’s Spam skit with philosophical undertones (“Yes, yes, Terry Gilliam’s in a dress- but what does it mean?”). Better just to sit back, relax and enjoy the silly.
Show - Office Party
Location - Lithuaniun Club, North Melbourne
Closing 4 October