Comedy: Luke & Wyatt’s This Way Up

15 April 2011

Written by: Sofia Monkiewicz

If you want to see a comedy festival show this year that incorporates song, character, improvisation, audience interaction, bad puns, and the odd poo joke, Luke & Wyatt will gladly oblige, and exceed your expectations.

These enthusiastic guys performed in the bookshop at Trades Hall, and as I walked down the hallway lined with old books, I was surprised to see them both standing at the doorway, greeting each audience member as they walked in. I was pulled into a mini conversation with Wyatt – ‘How have you been?’ ‘Not bad, how are you?’ ‘What have you been up to?’ – which left me laughing as I made my way to my seat. They were already improvising and chatting with us before the show had even begun, which gave me a good insight as to how the rest of the night would go.

Luke & Wyatt had the most fantastic energy — they never slowed down. Wyatt is the practical joker. He’s loud, excitable and attention seeking, and he is guaranteed to give you a high-five at some point before the end of the night. Luke, on the other hand, is straight and quietly spoken, and feigns being annoyed at Wyatt’s childlike antics. They work off each other well, and even their improvised banter was witty and hilarious. Most of the time, it was difficult to tell what was scripted and what wasn’t, as they moved seamlessly between songs, jokes, and spontaneous dialogue.

Both Luke and Wyatt are very musically talented, which added some more depth to their show. Playing a range of instruments including a guitar, keyboard, purple tambourine and a recorder, each song they sang had some kind of extra novelty to it, apart from the lyrics themselves.

From a 1920s gentlemen gangster rap and a pirate shanty, to a Bob Dylan Subterranean Homesick Blues film clip re-enactment (with some hilarious drawings to match the ‘controversial’ lyrics), Luke & Wyatt had an incredibly clever sense of humour. They were playful and hyperactive — like two naughty grinning schoolboys with dirty minds and a desire to be loved by everyone.

The show ended much too soon for my liking, which is always a sign of a good performance. I walked out through the bookshop singing along to a ’90s pop song, speechless but still giggling. The sweaty duo thanked and farewelled us at the door — still full of energy and practically bouncing off the walls.

They were witty, amusing, and brilliantly immature. As they concluded, they admitted, ‘We may not be Tim Minchin but it’s the best we can do.’ But imagine a less alternative, less quirky Minchin with a fresh-faced youthfulness and boyish charms, then double it, and you have Luke & Wyatt in all their glory.

This Way Up continues at Trades Hall until 23 April. For ticket bookings or for more information, head to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival website.

Sofia Monkiewicz is a Journalism Honours student at La Trobe University and is a member of the upstart editorial team. She loves theatre and music, and is currently working on a thesis about the role of arts journalism in Melbourne.