Advertised on the Melbourne International Comedy Festival website as “brilliant theatre with a dose of dance, a sprinkle of trash and a dash of comedy”, 3’s Company, 2’s A Party definitely had elements of the above, however it did not quite match that glorified description.
The performance was made up of a variety of skits, dance routines and stand-up segments, incorporating music and pre-recorded footage into a rather abstract, messy piece of theatre. Much of the content was definitely intriguing and original, but the sporadic editing of the scenes and the lack of clear themes let it down.
Dancers and original collaborators Helen Duncan and Quin Orton begin the show with an intentionally awkward introduction about who they are and what makes each of them better than the other, until they are booted off stage by British comedian Jayde Adams in a leopard suit who boogies for about 10 minutes-straight to a medley of well-known pop songs. The show continues like this for the 50-minute duration—Duncan and Orton perform a short physical skit involving interpretive dance moves and choppy, repetitive dialogue, and Adams appears in between their scenes to tell a few jokes or sing a song.
The flow of the performance wasn’t the best. It was basically a bunch of very different scenes that didn’t seem to have anything to do with each other, mashed together on stage. I found it a little difficult to keep track of what was going on because the variety of acts were so strange: a movement piece in which a balloon was a type of voodoo doll; two old friends meeting up and struggling to form a conversation; corny cat jokes; and a series of dating videos where Adams seemingly plays every lonely heart in England.
From the beginning, I was most curious to see how two dancers can create a decent comedy routine, and their physicality did keep my attention for the majority of the show. Dance isn’t something I know a lot about, and so it was interesting to watch scenes where the story is demonstrated through some fairly impressive movements. It didn’t reach the level of humour I would expect from a comedy festival show, but it was enjoyable.
For me, Adams was the most comedic aspect of the show. She had some decent material, and I’d recommend purchasing a ticket simply for her dramatic closing number alone. However, some of her material was most likely lost on the audience as she made several references to her hometown of Bristol [I was extremely excited by this as I am also originally from Bristol, but I was probably one of the only audience members who understood the jokes.] and even performed a rap song about it.
At times Adams did milk her skits a little too much, losing some of the interest and energy from the audience who had been following her every word for the first few minutes. Some further editing to her script would immediately improve her performance.
Overall 3’s Company, 2’s A Party tried to combine dance and comedy together into one show, but the end result were two separate performances moulded together in a way that had no real benefit to the dancers or the comedian.
3’s Company, 2’s A Party is on at Revolt Melbourne as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival until Sunday 8 April. To book tickets or to find out more information, check out Revolt Productions.
Sofia Monkiewicz is a Bachelor of Journalism graduate from La Trobe University. She loves theatre and comedy, and you can follow her on Twitter @soffffff