While sketch comedy has a presence at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, it pales next to the number of stand-up acts and improv groups out there. The Sexy Detectives duo (usually a trio) are two of the comedians championing sketch comedy this year, and present an hour of monologues (occasionally as a duo) at Pleasance House Comedy.
The venue is small and intimate, with very little separating the performers from the audience. There’s not much difference between the stage lighting and the house lighting, so in effect, everyone can see everyone else. Friday night sees an audience of scarcely a dozen in the room, but the Sexy Detectives perform as if to a full house, and their enthusiasm is catching.
Most of the humour is well-written and very funny: there’s a pun-filled monologue riffing on the phrase “large margin” – which is much funnier than it sounds – as well as some great one and two-liners thrown in the mix to provide some variety. Occasionally it does veer into unfunny territory though – the lazy, done-to-death “my wife is a bitch” bit being one example.
Really though, the Sexy Detectives’ show is good. The way it’s put together is reminiscent of an episode of Fry and Laurie, while the monologues themselves have hints of Rowan Atkinson (who the Sexy Detectives gang cite as an inspiration). I wouldn’t go so far as to call them the next Frys and Lauries, or the next Atkinsons, but there’s promise there – Massingham has the character work down pat (playing a pitch-perfect HR manager, priest and headmaster at different points in the show) and has great stage presence. _____ has an earnest energy that works well for the room, but his characters aren’t as convincing, or as present, as Massingham’s.
A solid show with flashes of brilliance and plenty of laugh out loud moments, the Sexy Detectives’ Mono Logs is well worth a watch.
Go see the Sexy Detectives’ show Mono Logs from the 25th March (preview) until the 5th April, at Pleasance House Comedy. Tickets are $10 to $20 and you can get them from the Comedy Festival website. For more information, check out the Sexy Detectives’ website.