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The Travelling Sisters, Noo Sho @ Melbourne Fringe Festival

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Melbourne's New Darlings of Sketch-Comedy
The Travelling Sisters Noo Sho Melbourne Fringe Festival Sketch Comedy
Yet another example of The Travelling Sisters attention to detail: styling, costuming, music, gesture and facial dexterity that make their characters so memorable and lovable. Pic: by Theresa Harrison.

The Travelling Sisters have returned to Melbourne, invited to be a part of this year's Fringe Festival. The trio were nominated as 'Best Newcomer' of the 2017 Melbourne Comedy Festival and are at last being recognised as one of Australia's foremost comedic troupes and favourites of our own festival city. Their Noo Sho, is playing at the Lithuanian Club every night at 9.15pm, up to and including Saturday 23rd of September (3.45pm). Promoters and venue operators should also be alerted: The Travelling Sisters are in town for a while and are ready, willing and able to lure more Melbournians into their mad-cap world of silly sketch comedy.

For fans and followers, you can expect The Travelling Sisters' trademarks: ridiculous, satirical humour based on likable, everyday characters and scenarios that are Australians know so well. Noo Sho has more solo sketches that previous shows, which works well to show the full skill-set of Melbourne's new darlings of sketch comedy. Again, the show has choreographed onstage costume changes set to upbeat, playful music vamped by physical and facial melodramatic expression. This holds interest and drives pace so that crowd interest remains well-feed. The high-vibe energy never wavers. In this Fringe show, the tag-team approach is again super-smooth, ensuring that Lucy Fox, Ell Sachs and Laura Trenerry share the limelight, yet deliver punch with their trio-ensemble magic.

The Travelling Sisters Noo Sho Melbourne Fringe Festival Sketch Comedy
The Travelling Sisters 'go country'. The on-stage chemistry between Laura, Lucy and Ell is second-to-none. Pic: by Theresa Harrison.

The Noo Sho includes a lot more musical numbers: a great opportunity to show that our sisters can sing and to display their unique rapport on stage. There are two outstanding 'cover bands': 'The Country and Western Show', and the 'Girls' Rock Band'. As a venue, The Loft at The Lithuanian Club is challenging for performers because the stage is not raised and it can be hard to see, however, because The Travelling Sisters use facial expression to full advantage, they miraculously focus audience attention. Laura, Ell and Lucy are always in character and know when they need to 'ham-it-up', 'pull-back' or 'let-it-all-hang-loose'. From family country and western band, to a die-hard 70s rock band, The Travelling Sisters are totally in the moment and you willingly join them for a wild ride.

Ell Sachs had the audience eating out of her hands with her impersonation of Bette Midler's 'The Rose'. A touch of the absurd was again in place with her decision to exaggerate and sing through false teeth, again, showing herself to be a comic genius who understands the use of props and how to engage a cross-generational crowd who may not be familiar with The Divine Miss M. A strict by-the-book impersonation would have been lost on this audience and offered no surprise for who grew up with Midler classics. As an iconic Diva, Ell twisted and blended an array of influences, stood strong and showed her masterful command of timing, silence and audience reaction.

The Travelling Sisters Noo Sho Melbourne Fringe Festival Sketch Comedy
Laura Trenerry finds interest in the 'super-ordinary' and makes it funny. Her characterisations are so skilled in that the audience laughs in appreciation of her take on the everyday, rather than at the characters she inhabits. Pic: by Theresa Harrison.

The Travelling Sisters exude warm generousity from the outset. They are there to welcome audiences, and throughout their crisp 55-minute performance, intuitively respond to their audience by inviting play and interplay at every turn. The structure is flawless and fast, which contrasts with the 'natural banter' of their onstage characters who may, in their authenticity, stumble for words. The Travelling Sisters' parodies are often characterised by the 'lack of punchline' which is a recipe for slightly twisted, surprise-attack satires. Most notable was 'Gym-Yoga' a dressing room banter between Laura and Lucy that elevated the empty-headed conversations between the 'yoga-enlightened' to comic ridicule. In all that they create, The Travelling Sisters exhibit sharp and witty observance that invites audiences to laugh at everyday moments that should, in fact, make us laugh.

The Travelling Sisters Noo Sho Melbourne Fringe Festival Sketch Comedy
The Travelling Sisters' Noo Sho is playing at North Melbourne's ever-vibrant Lithuanian Club. This hub is all a-buzz at Fringe Festival time.

Physical comedy is interlaced through The Sisters' irreverent physical rhythm and musical choices. Consider their slightly ad-hoc 'ballet' sequences, which they use to exit the stage. The Sisters are fearless. Nothing is off limits: through them we are connected to the funny side of life and living.

The Noo Sho has some tongue-in-cheek social commentary, for example, as The Sisters dress-up as dancing emoji's. Just like creating a romance of potato chips in their last show, they have once again created characters out of the inanimate, and we join them to laugh at where social media is taking us and what can possibly happen next? The Travelling Sister's Noo Sho is once again, sketch-comedy skits strung together through stylistic genius and madness. Check out their Noo Sho at Melbourne Fringe- you never quite know where you'll end up but getting there is all fun.

The Travelling Sisters Noo Sho Melbourne Fringe Festival Sketch Comedy
The Travelling Sisters rock-out and rock-out hard. Sharp costume changes are all done on stage and are part of their trademark insanity. Pic: by Theresa Harrison.

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Why? For information and bookings
When: 9.15pm; Sundays 8.15pm and 3.45pm on Saturday 23rd September
Phone: Check website for bookings
Where: The Loft, The Lithuanian Club, 44 Errol Street, North Melbourne
Cost: $18
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