All Day Breakfast With Sophie And Thien
Brisbane Powerhouse, Rooftop Terrace
May 21 – 22
Everyone is welcome at all day breakfast. This is the mantra at core of the comedy cabaret show “All Day Breakfast With Sophie And Thien”. Food is better with friends, its performers, accomplished songwriters, musicians and performers Sophie Banister and Thien Pham (hosts of the monthly variety night, Brisbaret) remind us… and so is this show, full, as it is, of audience engagement and fun. While it may regard itself as a slapped together menu of random options, the Brisbane Comedy Festival show is not as haphazard as it might have its audience believe. Its songs and bits and all breaky-themed, but there is also the loose through-line of Sophie’s quest for the perfect poached egg.
If the best nutrients come from laughter, then audience members are well fed throughout the show’s 60-minute duration. Its all sorts of silliness includes a poached egg themed piece of performance art that, while very funny, slows things down by its setup and doesn’t necessarily require revisit. Every number is hugely energetic, especially its topical tribute to live-laugh-lovers, which sees audience members uniting to become the collective personal trainer to a pedometer-clad volunteer. And with Adelaide Festival segment results as motivation, there is huge investment in the competition.)
Audience participation comes courtesy of cue cards and collective games, like Substitute (of Spicks and Specks fame), which sees everyone attempting to guess the breakfast themed songs through the duo’s recitation of substitute words read from a cookbook text, however, the small stage seems a little crowded when it becomes the site of an egg and spoon competition with a difference, as part of the show’s Breakfast Olympics.
Things start strongly when, as teenagers, the duo shares an angsty song directed to the audience member mum ruining their lives due to her social media oversharing, however, momentum lags a little mid-way through as things get a political in a ‘Freedom’ number reminder of its safe space, and also Sophie’s musical explanation of her so many real emotions.
The two musical comics certainly work well together… like eggs and toast. Banister is infectiously effervescent and Pham is very funny, especially in his throwaway lines, in addition to his early upbeat and jaunty song about mortifyingly inappropriate snapchat posting. “All Day Breakfast With Sophie And Thien” is certainly a charming, feel-good show, down even to its optimistic reminder that its ok to feel like the world’s a bit much and to live for the small things… like breakfast at the end of the day.