Fridays at the Brisbane Comedy Festival are going to be all about late night legal laughs with 'This Is Your Trial’.
This improvised comedy courtroom allows audience members to put their friends on trial for petty crimes. Act React’s crack team of legal mind then play judge, prosecutor and defence counsel, with the audience as the ultimate jury. If you've ever wanted to put your friends and family in the courtroom hotseat (let's face it, haven't we all?). . . This one's for you.
You can get as involved as you like and watch the hilarity unfold, in 'This Is Your Trial', which just so happens to be a regular smash hit at the iconic Edinburgh Fringe.
We caught up with the cast of the show to find out their favourite TV lawyers.
Lionel Hutz ('The Simpsons'): Springfield’s resident lawyer was one of the legendary characters voiced by the late, great Phil Hartman (you might remember the equally famous Troy McClure). A shonky ambulance chaser through and through, Hutz was bad both in law and life. Who could forget his shopping mall legal practice called I Can’t Believe It’s A Law Firm! that doubles as a shoe repair service; or the time he referred to a mistrial as a 'bad court thingy'? “He hasn’t appeared since 1997, but remains an icon,” Amy Currie says.
Single Female Lawyer ('Futurama'): Sticking with Matt Groening, Brittany White has plumped for Single Female Lawyer, a one-episode piece of genius from season one of the brilliant 'Futurama'. The show-within-a-show is the favourite of an alien species which threatens to destroy earth unless the plucky Planet Express crew can film a satisfying finale. Brittany is a founder of Fuller & White Solicitors, a Brisbane firm comprised of women. 'Futurama'’s ribbing of Ally McBeal-style female lawyer tropes are favourite office in-jokes. “I got married this year, but can’t imagine that’s going to get Bender’s Single Female Lawyer jingle out of my head any time soon,” she says.
Horace Rumpole ('Rumpole Of The Bailey'): To hear his booming sonorous tone, you’d think actor Leo McKern was English through and through. But the man who personified English justice was born in Australia, making him an extra special favourite of Luke Rimmelzwaan. For him, Rumpole showed you can be interested in the law without needing to seek money or power. “He really likes practicing law and has no interest in giving it up to become a judge or QC,” Luke says. “He mostly takes on legal aid cases and gets smashed on cheap red wine – what’s not to love?”
Cleaver Greene ('Rake'): Speaking of lawyers who like hopeless cases, Richard Roxburgh’s self-destructive criminal defence barrister is a great Australian creation. For Wade Robinson, the promise of a life of sex, drugs and gambling was one of the main appeals of the law. Even if things didn’t quite work out that way for Wade, he was able to live vicariously through Richard Roxburgh’s 'Rake'. “His heart is usually in the right place,” Wade says. “Even though most of the time the rest of him isn’t.”
Miranda Hobbes ('Sex And The City'): Sure, we never saw her in court, but that doesn’t stop the whip-smart, sharp-tongued redhead being one of the best things about early 2000s juggernaut 'Sex And The City'. Miranda navigated life and love in the Big Apple, gradually softening around the edges but always true to her values. For Natalie Bochenski, Cynthia Nixon’s dry wit and caustic insight remain a key component of the show’s success. “Losing Samantha was bad, but imagine the 'Sex And The City' reboot without Miranda?”
’This Is Your Trial' plays Brisbane Powerhouse 23 and 30 July and 6 August.