Review: Shit-Wrecked! – Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2022 (VIC)

Created and performed by Samantha Andrew and Mel O’Brien

Review by Lillian Gerlach

Shit-Wrecked! is a hilariously Aussie cabaret full of powerhouse vocals, supercharged energy and rapid-fire jokes all stuffed into a sparkly little bikini. Mel and Sam have the audience in the palm of their hands the instant they explode onto the stage and begin a poppy number “Ships are Hot!” The lyrics contain joke after joke about the Spirit of Tasmania cruise, how awful the mattresses are, the Bird’s Eye fish-fingers buffet and how hot they are in their matching fits.

The skits are brimming with dry Australian humour, and Mel and Sam clearly have a great knack for observational comedy. They flick through a rolodex of characters including off-brand Disney princesses, gaslighting f*ckboys and a couple who are on the verge of breakup due to Crypto-bro’s and NFT’s. A standout moment was the ballad from the perspective of two public transport officers (they have feelings too, guys) searching for friendship or even a smile as they scan commuter’s travel passes.

The cabaret was presented as if we were aboard the Spirit of Tasmania, on a cruise from Port Melbourne to Devonport. While there were plenty of great jokes, this setting didn’t feel like a necessary addition to the show. Many of the skits didn’t seem to take place on or be related to the framing device of this cruise ship. I would have been just as happy if it had been simply an Aussie cabaret, rather than specifically an ‘All aboard the Spirit of Tassie’ cabaret.

There were some long waits on an empty and quiet stage as cues were delayed, and you could tell by the end that Mel and Sam were really pushing to keep that contagious energy from the beginning of the show. Similarly, the low-quality microphones meant some of the rapid-fire, overlapped jokes were missed. That being said, the show was nearly sold out and they managed to keep the audience with them till the very end. I still had a wonderful time and would definitely recommend getting lost at sea with Mel and Sam.

Reviewer rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Shit-Wrecked! plays at The Toff in Town until 14 April. Find tickets here.

You can find Mel and Sam doing more silly skits on TikTok @samanthaandrew1. Follow Mel on Instagram @melobrienn.

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