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The Umbilical Brothers: The Distraction MICF Review

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by Fiona Anderson (subscribe)
A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
Event: -
The show that's so amazing, you may lose your head
The Umbilical Brothers - Shane Dundas & David Collins || Doug Baynes - technical operator. Photographer: Gavin D Andrew.


One word - BRILLIANT! I've never seen a show quite like this one before, and, having seen a decent amount of theatre, it's unusual to see something that is so fresh and original. The Umbilical Brothers - David Collins and Shane Dundas - have taken entertainment to another level with The Distraction, currently playing as part of MICF.

The Umbilical Brothers - Shane Dundas & David Collins || Doug Baynes - technical operator. Photographer: Gavin D Andrew. title="


On first entering the theatre, we observed a green screen on each side of the stage, the stage littered with props, and a large screen positioned over the middle of the stage. 'Hmm, green screens', pondered my more technically savvy partner, 'I wonder if they are going to 'fall off buildings' or what?'. As it turned out, that was a massive understatement, as the entire show was performed using a combination of green screen, stage video cameras, and a clever use of props.

Entering the stage with his usual vitality, David urged the audience to watch what's happening on the big screen, rather than on stage, 'because don't we all live our lives looking at a screen these days?'. But it's impossible and in fact, inadvisable to exclusively watch the screen, because to do so would mean missing half the fun. In an enormously physical performance, David and Shane dive for props, jump in front of the video cameras, assume various positions in front of the green screens - to then be given various projected backgrounds on the big screen.

The Umbilical Brothers - Shane Dundas & David Collins || Doug Baynes - technical operator. Photographer: Gavin D Andrew.


Along the way, audience members are targeted via the video cameras on stage. Be careful, your head might blow off! Or you may find yourself saying things you didn't intend to say.

You can also expect highly inappropriate clips of 'Baby Sports', and may run the risk of being crushed by a giant Space Baby. It's an avalanche of wacky humour.

The Umbilical Brothers - Shane Dundas & David Collins || Doug Baynes - technical operator. Photographer: Gavin D Andrew.


This show only works because of the impeccable timing of David and Shane. It's a slick performance, and they are completely on their mark. Equal kudos to the technical geniuses behind the scenes. I can only imagine how much time must have been spent rehearsing and perfecting this show to make the magic happen.

I give this show 10/10 for visual humour, originality, technical mastery and split-second timing. It's easy to understand why it won the Best Comedy award at the 2021 Adelaide Fringe.

Don't miss this one!

You'll get a taste of what the show's about in this YouTube clip:



The Distraction is playing at Fairfax Studio, Arts Centre Melbourne,100 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne until Saturday 17th April. Performance times are Tuesday – Saturday: 7:00pm, Sunday: 6:00pm. (Please note: no performances on 6th, 7th & 18th April.)

The running time is one hour (no interval), and the show is recommended for ages 16 and over.

Tickets are $35 - $49. Click here to buy your tickets online, or call the Arts Centre box office on 1300 182 183.
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*Fiona Anderson was invited as a guest
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Why? A stand out show, technically brilliant, bound to be an award winner at MICF 2021
When: Tuesday – Saturday: 7:00pm, Sunday: 6:00pm until 17th April (no performances on 6th, 7th and 18th April)
Phone: 1300 182 183 (Arts Centre Box Office)
Where: Fairfax Studio, Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne
Cost: $35 - $49
Your Comment
As in many Australian comedians, do they swear a lot?
by Waldi (score: 1|10) 16 days ago
These 2 never fail to be hilarious
by Gillian Ching (score: 3|2480) 21 days ago
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