The Good Time Boys promised us the messiest night of sketch comedy we’d see in Brisbane, and they weren’t joking. Debuting their latest collection of auscore sketches at The Daily Planet Cafe in Fortitude Valley to an audience of mums, mates, and one unfortunate child, the group delivered a raucous and bizarrely entertaining evening. The usual cast, James Kehoe, Kurtis Laing, Riley McNamara, and Sam Webb were joined for the first time by Tully Grimley, Sophie Jackson, Chris Paton, and Olivia Williams. The cast had an obvious camaraderie, and their energy as a group really tied the show together.
The programme suggests a Star Wars themed comedy night – daunting for me who doesn’t know Star Wars – but the Star Wars/Disney/intellectual property narrative described in the blurb serves only as a premise to a Monty Python style series of isolated bits. When the Good Time Boys recreate a scene from the Star War, a menacing “Mr. Disney” arrives to sue the show for copyright infringement. Luckily Mr. Disney forgets the legal case and instead offers to buy the Good Time Boys’ sketch show – once he’s seen their material of course. The scenes that follow are a mish mash of parodies, pop culture references and memes come to life. Stand outs include a hilarious performance by Chris Paton as a sinister Bunnings snag seller-fella, a weirdly accurate impersonation of a bear by Sam Webb, and Kurtis Laing snatching a microphone from his own actual mother who was gearing up for her solo.
There were some really strong sketches in this show, the team are undoubtedly talented comedy writers and performers. Although their charisma carried them through the whole night, there were a handful of elements that fell short of the mark. The longest scene in the show – a dramatic feud between a group of cultish exam invigilators from QUT and two cheating students – was juggling a lot of different energies from the actors and ended very abruptly, as if the script had just not been finished. The narrative was just a little too detailed for the time it was given. If developed into its own play this could be a brilliant piece of comedy – the characters of the invigilators and the Dean of QUT were hilarious and really well performed. Additionally, the Mr Disney narrative served only as a bookend to the overall performance, and hinted to an external politics of capitalistic arts control that peeked my interest and then disappeared. Potentially another half-finished idea, but I hope the group pick it back up and develop it further. A TV brought on at the end of the performance to play a sketch clip and a behind the scenes montage was an awkward change in energy after such a high-octane series of live performances. Seemingly filler content and an undercut to the quality of the show, I would’ve preferred a shorter run time.
The Good Time Boys, true to their style, couldn’t give a fuck about a tight production and have given their all to a set of great sketches. There is more to come from these guys, and they are definitely a group to watch with both eyes wide open. This is a show with a lot of potential, and I am very excited to see where it goes. We have been invited into a circle of friends spitting up twisted ideas that are met with some whacked out, but very funny commitment. The Good Time Boys are performing A Star Wars Story at 6.30pm on the 14th of May at the Daily Planet Cafe in Fortitude Valley. Check it out and check out more of these kids on their Facebook page! @goodtimeboys !
Reviewed by Esther Dougherty
Seen on 10/05/18