The Henry Austin, a new Fringe venue for 2017, is a restaurant and bar of immense sophistication and class.
What better place, then, to host the coolest of parties: an early naughties, teenage, double denim themed party? Michelle Brasier and Laura Frew have printed the invitations, coloured them with texta and glitter and eagerly await the social acceptance that comes from throwing the biggest party of the year. Expectations sometimes do not match reality though; the guests arrive but nobody has dressed to theme! Oh, the pubescent awkwardness.
Michelle and Laura have created a world, but it is the audience’s interaction with that reality upon which the show hinges. By adopting attire and personas that epitomise dagginess, the girls give license to the audience to be dags too. You are transported back to those torrid high school years where you just wanted to fit in; the days of party games, communal Coke, celebrity crushes, whispered DnMs, burgeoning sexual desire and most importantly adolescent friendship.
Michelle and Laura, as characters and as performers, are clearly the tightest of friends; they can anticipate each other’s moves and improvise with glee. It is a show of skits, songs and party games; some tried and tested, others developed five minutes before the show. Having established the context, even war anthems about sharing soft drink seem to make some absurd sense.
It is comedy, but it is not Wil Anderson. It is a show where you will not escape without being noticed and accepted; as teenagers, isn’t that what we all wanted?
Stand-up comedy allows you to laugh at others, 'Double Denim' allows you to laugh at yourself.
'Double Denim' plays at The Henry Austin until 25 February.