Written and performed by Alexander Richmond and Jeromaia Detto
Reviewed by Justin Clarke
A double billing of alternative comedy was on the table for Tuesday evening at the Chippendale “Chippo” Hotel. Featuring the absurd comedy stylings of Alexander Richmond and Jeromaia Detto, we were treated to laugh out loud moments of pure silliness and some shy (and some not so apprehensive) audience member participation.
Snake Boy found its premise in the tale of the aptly named, well, Snake Boy! Raised for eighteen years by a family of red-bellied black snakes in the Australian Outback, Snake Boy knows what it is to be ‘snake’ but not what it is to be ‘boy’. That’s where we came in. With a crude David Attenborough styled impression, the audience were informed that it was our job to help guide Snake Boy through the many lessons that would teach him to be a real boy; teach him language, teach him how to use his hands, and even teach him to love (cue the ‘awws’).
Beginning the performance in true reptilian fashion, Richmond slithered on the floor, through chairs and legs and finally was assisted on the stage. Snake Boy purely relied on the audience for it to work as efficiently as it did. Charmed with an innocent child-like voice – soft, brittle, almost artificial – and an unnerving, soul-piercing stare, Richmond had the audience eating out the palm of his metaphorical hands.
From teaching Snake Boy how to use his legs and hands, a poor audience member tasked with zipping up his pants (“Help” becoming a motif throughout the show), finding out who his real father was Mamma Mia-style and discovering love in the audience through the power of karaoke, the audience were entirely empathetic to the plight of Snake Boy.
The highlight of the show came when Snake Boy’s “gift” of jelly snakes suddenly became a heart dropping moment of realisation. No spoilers here, but if you ever see it, maybe just reconsider the lollies.
Jeromaia Detto’s Mush took an entirely separate, but equally as silly, approach to comedy. A self-made, highly trained ‘clown’, Detto presented a vignette of performances stringed together at random – or what seemed to be at first anyway.
Entering to heavenly tunes, Detto wandered through the crowd as a Jesus-esque figure, blowing water bubbles and offering juice boxes to wash us free of our sins. From here the audience became a band of jumbled instruments, poorly tuned flute players and out of sync cymbals orchestrated by Detto. Jump forward and the Waiter Who Works By Applause entered – exactly what it sounds like. And how could you forget the Italian lover, supplying those he loved in the audience with a beach ball?
What became apparent is that Detto was laying out for us a jig-saw puzzle of seemingly disconnected sketches, until they all came colliding together in spectacular fashion in a stage play of the protagonist, Bin Boy. While you may not have seen the trail of breadcrumbs being laid out at first, it was a neat little bit of finesse to tie the chaos together.
Detto’s finest moment came in a tirade of poetry slam on computers. I’ve never been to a poetry slam, but I don’t feel I could take one seriously now I’ve clicked along to Detto’s fire lyrics.
A night of pure ridiculousness awaits you with Richmond and Detto. Both commit to every action and every gag they lay out in their own unique fashion. As someone who cannot stand being picked from the audience, I felt more than comfortable in the hands, or scales, of these two performers.
Alexander Richmond: The Marvelous Snake Boy
Alexander Richmond is an alternative comedian and writer with over nine years experience in sketch, improv and theatre. He has toured solo shows all around Australia and is currently working on several projects for both stage and screen. To see some of his current projects, check out alexanderrichmond.com.au
Jeromaia Detto: Mush
Jeromaia Detto is a Sydney comedian who specialises in improv theatre and clown. He has been involved in hundreds of shows across the globe for almost a decade. He is a graduate of Improv Theatre Sydney, iO Chicago and French theatre and clown school, Ecole Philippe Gaulier.
Jeromaia is the 2019 National Maestro Improv Champion, and has been featured multiple times as an Improv “All-Star” with Impro Australia. He has performed in Norway, Hamburg, Chicago. Paris and Edinburgh. For more info head to jeromaiadetto.com
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