The Smooth End of the Pineapple (Bell & McPhie)
“The Smooth End of the Pineapple” is a sketch comedy show of the (Monty) Pythonesque type, however, its series of 20 unrelated sketches are presented in audio-only form, like in radio programs of old. Indeed, with the addition of a sound effect artist (Mitchell Poloni) performing the effects live on stage from balloons, buckets, bells and alike, the show is much like The Goon Show on yesteryear. This adds much to the sketches’ ludicrous plots, puns and overall appeal, making for a unique and ultimately very funny theatre experience.
This isn’t as it first appears, a three-man show; it’s a multiple-man-and-woman show. And thanks to a wig, a hat and a lot of different voices, Matt Bell and Scot McPhie are all of them – courtesy of their nuanced delivery of an array of accents. From an okka Aussie to a straight-talking Scott, each sketch has its own unique tone. The result is a fast moving, witty and committed show of the old school sort, complete with bow ties and ‘boom boom’ punch lines. However, there is also a maturity and sophistication behind the show’s absurdity, particularly in its existential consideration (are zero and infinity the same thing?) and sexy calculus song.
Sketches are of various lengths and effects. Of note, are the ‘shop’ scenes, ‘Backward Shop’ and ‘Trickster Shop’, which are inhabited by that Monty Python idiosyncratic sense of surreality seen in The Flying Circus’ Dead Parrot and Cheese Shop sketches. Indeed, this is proven, reliable comedy and it is actually quite refreshing to see an independent show sans a token topical Campbell Newman quip.
“The Smooth End of the Pineapple” is not high-art by any means; however, it is a guaranteed a great time. As a re-inventive take on classic cult comedy, it will certainly lead you to look at life from a different direction.
You can find all of my Anywhere Theatre Festival reviews on the Festival website.