A Very Kransky Christmas (The Kransky Sisters)
QPAC, Cremorne Theatre
December 16 – 19
‘twas the week before Christmas and at the Cremorne
Eve and Mourne are gathered, with their half-sister Dawn.
The chokos are hung from the ceiling with care
reflecting the Kransky’s own special flair.
From early on in “A Very Kransky Christmas”, the trio (in reality Annie Lee, Christine Johnston and Carolyn Johns) make their quirk clear, with an unplugged version of Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’, accompanied by accordion and beautiful sounds of a saw played by bow. As they tell tales of growing up in Esk, with trips to Ipswich Shopping Centre featuring amongst their Christmas traditions, and their later attempt to turn their rickety old family house into a Bed and Breakfast, delivery is perfectly pitched – deadpan and spot on in its timing, making for some very funny anecdotes.
Typically, gimmicks will eventually fail to impress, but when it comes to Kranskys, experience shows that the comedy always holds strong, thanks to the ladies’ steadfast commitment to their oddball characters and this show is no exception. As the constantly put-upon Dawn, Carolyn Johns reveals remarkable restraint to stay stone-faced through all of her sisters’ snide comments and blame, and when she finally breaks loose in dance in the show’s final minutes it is to well-meaning audience heckles of support. And Annie Lee too, has some great one-liners as part of ad-lib interaction with audience members.
The show’s mix of musical styles may seem strange – combining Christmas classics, modern mashups (think Lady Gaga meets ‘Let it Go’), pop classics from Abba and Michael Jackson, the new age sounds of Enya and folk songs from The Carpenters and Nana Mouskouri – and yet it works a treat. And their take on Talking Heads’ ‘Psycho Killer’ is a simply fabulous.
Perhaps given that it is the first night of this new show’s outing, there are some awkward transitions from dialogue to song and when the sisters secret traditional festivities are showed in an tree-decorating scene, the segment drags a little. But the show’s ending is buoyed by a hilarious audience participation segment complete with tambourine numbers, making any earlier lapses easily forgiven. Indeed, in each instance of audience involvement in singing, clapping and key-jangling accompaniment, the festive atmosphere is only enhanced.
Although totally off-the-wall, “A Very Kransky Christmas” is never overplayed, making it one of the kookiest of Christmas parties you are ever likely to experience, complete with the unusual Kransky array of instruments from cheese grater to toilet brush and tuba to musical saw. Its eccentric humour makes for a collective sense of fun, sure to bring a smile to even the most earnest of Scrooge faces.