REVIEW: Chaos: Lords of Strut (NZ International Comedy Festival)

Review by James Wenley

Lords of Strut

[Comic Communion]

It’s the first time the Irish brothers Famous Seamus and Seantastic, the Lords of Strut, have performed in New Zealand. We apparently look like an audience that have no idea what to expect. We really don’t. They have no idea either.

We are warned by a Sean, playing a priest, that this isn’t the type of show to sit nodding with intellectual approval. We are blessed, and say our Hail Marys, part of a very lose religious undercurrent to Chaos.

What follows is surely the highest-energy show to hit the Festival. Q Loft need to find a way to use them as a power generation source for sustainable lighting.

The opening number alone gives us our money’s worth. In crotch-hugging spandex the brothers deliver an acrobatic dance sequence, complete with lifts, skipping rope and hoop action. Seamus and Sean are goof supremes, incapable of subtlety, but the lords of limbs and physical prowess.

They want to give us everything. They want to change people’s lives through dance. They want us to remove the words should, could, would from our vocabulary. Instead, they want us to “do the do”, which is less of a self-help mantra, and more of a good way to get some audience involvement (“you look like a doer”). They get bored quickly, moving on rapidly so that no idea gets fully fleshed out. The show then often feels very random as they embrace their chaos theory. Often it works, sometimes it doesn’t. We get a Whitney Houston impersonation, which isn’t exactly cutting edge comedy.

With these two you really need to get onto their wavelength early – cheeky Catholic schoolboy – to get the most out of it. While the middle might drag, the ending pays for itself all over again.

Your life might not be changed, but you’ll leave feeling infinitely better than when you came in.

Chaos from Lords of Struplays as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival 2016 at Q Loft until 30 April. Details see Comedy Festival

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