One of the final shows of the 2015 Anywhere Theatre Festival, “The Sexy Detectives’ Sexy Directive” is far from an untroubled epilogue. The show time was moved back 90 minutes due to a venue double booking, and technical issues saw lighting glowing in and out for most of the show. And yet, the show was still satisfyingly filled with funny.
By its mere nature, sketch comedy vignettes are rarely thematically related and “The Sexy Detectives’ Sexy Directive” reveals in its eclecticism with sketch subjects ranging from workplace dynamics to caravanning conventions and even space station protocols. Keeping with the notion that comedy is the essence of escape from life rather than life itself, the production showcases some absurdist themes and a bit of word play (gloriously explored in a sketch on collective nouns).
As Australia’s self-appointed most humble and best sketch comedy group, The Sexy Detectives comprises trio of comedians, David Massingham, Michael Griffith and Luke Allan. Each performer has his own energy and style, however, it is David Massingham who is the most dominant presence on stage. With David Walliams-esque energy, he embraces every exaggerated character parody and comic opportunity, including, without missing a beat, some ad-libs in recognition of the onset of the show’s lighting issues.
Like a good mix tape, a sketch comedy show is all about sequence and the resulting rhythms. In this mix, the longer sketches work best (especially those featuring Massingham). Shorter sketches, meanwhile, although funny, don’t punctuate as much as detract from the cohesion of the show as a whole.
Although this is their first Anywhere Theatre Festival, The Sexy Detectives sketch troupe is no stranger to Brisbane, having performed shows at the 2014 Wonderland and Fringe Festivals. “The Sexy Detectives’ Sexy Directive” may not have a lot of logic to it, but that’s the point; the more ridiculous and absurd, the funnier it is. There is no better evidence of this than the most hilarious sketch of the night, highlighting the potential side effects of back pain medication. And whether it is providing advice on how to produce a pain free golf swing, or sharing suggestion of what to do when life gives you a bear, there is much to learn from and like about this show of silliness.
This review is based on the reviewer’s experience of the performance on May 24.