Review by Charlotte Smee
Charles Firth of The Chaser and James Schleoffel of The Shovel bring their trademark political satire to the Wollongong Spiegeltent, featuring the musical stylings of rising star Gabbi Bolt.
In their pre-election tour, Firth and Schloeffel host a slideshow presentation of their best headlines of the year so far, plus a run through of all the weird things this year’s MP candidates are doing across the country. Their funniest moments came when Firth taught us about “evasion” by forgetting to buy milk for a sketch, bringing us Sprite instead and then promising millions of litres of milk that didn’t exist. The cleverest use of the screen at the back of the stage was a clip of Firth played back at him when he denied that he’d promised those millions of litres of milk. Although the writing and satirical style of the show was undeniably very clever, there were weak moments that left me wanting more.
Gabbi Bolt’s mini set, between slideshow presentations, was absolutely hilarious. Fresh off her run at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, she lugged her keyboard up the Spiegeltent steps and sang us silly. The change of pace to musical comedy, while somewhat jarring, was very welcome. Bolt’s catchy melodies and polished vocals had me dancing in my seat and her comedic timing and lyrics were sharp and witty. Her infectious laugh carried us along as she took us through a nightmare date with imaginary Lynx Africa, sweaty fedora anonymous commenter from the internet. She outshone Firth and Schloeffel despite their years of experience.
Spin: The Ancient Art of Bullshitting is a fun-filled hour or so of clever headlines for those of us who love The Chaser, The Shovel, The Betoota Advocate and others. Gabbi Bolt’s last-minute inclusion was a veritable treat – believe the hype and get to her full show at the Melbourne or Sydney Comedy Festivals coming up very soon.
The Spiegeltent in Wollongong ran until Saturday 26th March 2022. You can see Gabbi Bolt at the Melbourne Comedy Festival or the Sydney Comedy Festival in April-May 2022. You can see Spin at the Sydney Comedy Festival in April 2022.