Sketch trio Aunty Donna are moderately internet famous. With forty one videos and fifty one thousand, eight hundred and ninety seven subscribers (as of the day this review was written), it’s unsurprising that they garner quite a crowd for their Melbourne International Comedy Festival show, even on a Wednesday night. It helps that it’s also the night for Wednesday Night Walking Bus, a short tour from the Melbourne Town Hall to ACMI via some of Melbourne’s more iconic spots.
ACMI’s Cube space is more or less full, and the lights go down and then come up again, and the insanity begins. Aunty Donna present an hour of fast paced, high intensity sketch. There is so much jumping, so many dance moves and a hundred different flashing lights that you’d be forgiven for thinking there was some sort of mid-two thousands rave taking place. There is something childlike about their enthusiasm, and there is nothing childlike about their content.
Aunty Donna is made up of Zachary Duane, Mark Samuel Bonanno and Broden Kelly, or the one with the hair, the one with the beard and the ginger one. All three men are strangely athletic, kicking and thrusting their way back and forth across the stage, and even, occasionally, into the audience. Everything about their show is impeccably timed, from the music and lighting to the jokes themselves. This is a tightly structured and often rehearsed hour that manages to be both well written and well improvised.
There is a ridiculous overarching story that loosely strings all the sketches together, and for the most part is hilarious. There are a couple of beats that feel obvious or even generic, but Aunty Donna skip so rapidly past them that they don’t impact the show’s pacing.
Aunty Donna are a bizarro boy band, leading you gleefully through their odd alternate reality. There’s barely a moment when the audience aren’t holding back tears of laughter.
Aunty Donna are on at ACMI Cube at 9:45 Tuesdays to Saturdays and 8:45pm on Sundays until April 19th. Tickets start from $22 and are available at ACMI, although you’re better off booking in advance online to secure a seat.