The Chasers Australia @ Wonderland Festival Review

Published in Comedy News  
The Chaser boys are back, bigger and bolder than before.

You either liked ‘The Chasers War On Everything’ or you hated it. Back in 2008, the show was a mega hit for the ABC, eventually getting the axe after a few skits went a tad too far. However, time hasn’t seemed to age the sketch show at all.

The stage environment in the Brisbane Powerhouse Love Box was perhaps even better than the TV show, allowing audiences members to feel connected to the political comedy. And the jokes didn’t stop.

The show – covering a variety of subjects including religion, current sports debacles (like anyone cares!), Australian culture (beach, thongs – they don’t go up your ass – and racism), and the current mining ‘crisis’ – was witty, hilarious, and generally informative.

The show’s more serious moments were no less accomplished. Strangely, the atmosphere grew tense as one realised just how offensive Australia really is: perhaps that was the whole point of the show? At times, it wasn’t obvious. However, once Karl Stefanovic’s name was dropped, the air filled with laughter once more.

The show would have been a little smoother if it ran a little longer, as the jokes seemed stiff at times and would have benefited extra room to breathe. However, this could have been a deliberate ploy as the show has been criticised for being too informal and unscripted in the past.

Nevertheless, the unique environmental presentation entitled ‘There’s Absolutely Nothing To Worry About’ was the obvious highlight of the show, and worked extraordinarily well as a blend of satire and truth. Speckled among the show were a few, unscripted moments that broke up the segmented routine, adding an extra layer of connection with the audience.

After so many years off the air, the humour was refreshing and upbeat amid the current, political catastrophes around the world, especially in the intimate theatre. The show was a little reminiscent of Louis Theroux’s live show earlier in the year, and this was a good thing, proving television to the stage is a usable format.

Let’s hope they continue with the stage shows in lieu of TV time: the set-up worked a charm. Overall, an enjoyable and entertaining evening, even if it wasn’t exactly what the audiences expected.

The Chasers Australia was performed as part of Wonderland Festival 2016 at the Brisbane Powerhouse on 1 December.


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