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Review: The Spaceman Cometh ◆
Awesome Festival, 30 September ◆
Review by Sir Cassidy Runyon and Varnya Bromilow ◆

Review #1 by Sir Cassidy Runyon, aged eight.

At first I thought it was pretty stupid and baby stuff because at the start the guys were talking in baby voices, like “How do we have fun?  Do we know we know how to have fun?”  But then a guy interrupted and said that was a rubbish start, start again!  Now the real show was happening.  The real show was good because it was exciting and silly and fun and pillow-fighty and kind of stupid.

My favourite character was Lance because he was the silliest.  My favourite part was when everyone threw pillows at the stage.  I liked how they were making it up as they went along.  I thought that was clever.  I also liked how they were dancing and I liked Doctor Disco, the evil villain.  He basically had two people in one big robe thingy – that means he had four legs and four arms and a head poking out the top so he looked like an alien.

I’d give it 922/1000 and I think the show is suitable for kids who are four or older.

Review #2 by Varnya Bromilow, aged 44.

One of the most challenging aspects of performance for young audiences is the stillness frequently required of them.  Even in shows with interactive components, a large chunk of time of sitting and quietly watching is needed.  Not so for The Spaceman Cometh…an improvised theatrical delight from a trio of comedians as part of this year’s Awesome Festival.  Said trio, The Masters of Hooey is comprised of three familiar names on the WA comedy circuit – Sam Longley, Damon Lockwood and Sean Walsh.  The show has a distinct, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants feel – at times it feels as though the trio scribbled down the concept on a napkin while eating lunch before the noon show.  Despite (or maybe because of) this manic, spontaneous quality, the show works.

Junior attendees are asked to fill out a survey on entering the Big Top.  Their responses to questions such as “name a made-up planet” “what’s a good name for an evil alien?” “what’s a good name for a rocketship?” become fodder for the next hour’s entertainment.  Our intrepid astronaut duo, Rusty and Lance, are consequently sent to the planet Plugotio to battle Doctor Disco in their rocketship, Blasty.  (I know…Blasty!)  Children (and their adult companions) fuel the show for the next 60 minutes, asking questions, making narrative decisions and providing unexpected props (pillows were thrown).  There’s not a dull moment.

Longley, Lockwood and Walsh are all wonderfully skilled at improvisation.  One of my favourite sequences was a seamless back-and-forth dialogue in which Longley and Walsh would each contribute a word, creating a series of nonsensical responses in a pre-lift-off press conference.  Anchored by an amused Lockwood as narrator, Longley and Walsh revel in being as silly as possible, hamming for their eager audience.

It’s anarchic, goofy chaos.  Just what a kid needs in the sweet, mid-holidays lull.

The Spaceman Cometh runs until Sunday October 8th as part of the The Awesome Festival

Tickets available here

Photo: Awesome Festival.


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