Outrageous queer comedy troupe PO PO MO CO are back at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival with Nosfer-ARSE-tu, an adult pantomime featuring an arse puppet as a vampire.
The press releases have really chosen the best description of this show possible: it is an adult pantomime, replete with ‘she’s behind you!’s’ and very gaudy jokes. Narrated by nurse Regina, Nosfer-ARSE-tu is the story of a Doctor’s frivolous homosexual romp, his bored wife’s attempt to follow him, the stranger in the far away castle, and the bumbling locals they meet along the way. The characters are all simple archetypes with gleeful twists. It’s a strong farce with clear undertones of social subversion, delighting in its own queer comedy.
The other good descriptor for this show is fun. It’s just so much fun! It’s fun for the audience and it certainly seems like fun for the cast too. The commitment of the PO PO MO CO crew elevate the silliness of the show into something genuinely hilarious. The raucous crowd get behind Regina’s every whim, snort at every absurdist gesture and giggle at every sex joke. Everything seems utterly spontaneous and yet it’s so well put together that there’s no way there’s anything but months of hard work behind it. As always with PO PO MO CO, the costumes and make up are an utter delight, from the vampy, gothed up Wife to Claire Sullivan’s whole series of characters (the Witch, the Puss, the townsfolk, and the titular Nosfer-arse-tu). Likewise, the props and set are perfectly pantomime, with a cardboard puppet theatre castle and a black curtain that allows for rapid transitions, cute visual gags, and snappy one liners. The physicality here is larger than life and played hard for laughs at every twitch, turn and jog on the spot.
Nosfer-ARSE-tu is perhaps more accessible than previous PO PO MO CO shows, yet it still maintains their winning combination of camp and cutting. If you’re after silliness, sexiness and sore sides, Nosfer-ARSE-tu is the show for you this comedy festival.
Nosfer-arse-tu is on at 9:30pm at Trades Hall until 22 April as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Tickets, show details and accessibility information are available via the MICF website.