A Very Kranksy Christmas (The Kransky Sisters)
December 17 – 21
QPAC, Cremorne Theatre
The multi award-winning Kransky Sisters (Annie Lee as Mourne, Christine Johnston as Eve and Carolyn Johns as Dawn) are back at QPAC this festive season, having travelled from their home town of Esk to share their otherwise shrouded-in-secrecy traditional Christmas festivities. Returning too, are many repeat audience members who appear not to mind that not much of the show has changed from its previous versions, at least in its initial sections, such is the loyal following for this quirky musical trio. Conversely, there are also some new-viewers in the audience who may struggle to get their head around what exactly they are seeing, such is the acquired taste that is a The Kranksy Sister show, chock-full of musical and cultural references for those of a certain vintage and experience to appreciate.
In the first night of the 2019 return season of “A Very Kransky Christmas”, it takes a while for the between-sister and audience banter to find its place and Christine Johnston in particular, keeps things moving with an engaging energy. As the put-upon half-sister Dawn, Johns repeatedly steals the show, despite being a woman of very few words, making their ‘Orinoko Flow’ number particularly memorable. Another highlight comes when the group is expanded with addition of audience member ‘volunteers’ in a ‘Pop Muzik’ tambourine-along.
As in the show’s previous incantations, the off-beat pop music covers and Christmas song mashups (accompanied by the trio’s unusual array of instruments which include toilet brushes, kitchen pots and a musical saw alongside tuba, guitar and reed keyboard) don’t so much propel the story along, but act as its soundtrack as they recall songs playing on wireless and alike as key past events occurred.
An often macabre tone and clever lyrical reappropriation make the musical numbers very funny accompaniments to the tell of eccentric Christmases at the Kransky house in hope of a Santa visit, deliberately naïve as the fictional sisters often are to their messages (cue Johnny Cash’s ‘Burning Ring of Fire’). And it wouldn’t be Kranskys without some Nana Mouskouri, such is their unique quirk and endearing obliviousness… always amusing and enormously entertaining.