The award-winning Trash Test Dummies bring their electrifying new show to Melbourne: SPLASH TEST DUMMIES!
Tickets are on sale now via comedyfestival.com.au
Since a Melbourne world premiere in 2013, this hilarious trio has gone on to win a slew of awards and receive critical acclaim around the globe. Their return to Melbourne follows three years of sell out seasons at Edinburgh Fringe Festival’s Underbelly, as well as touring USA, Hong Kong, South Korea, China, Ireland and the UK.
For the uninitiated, the Test Dummies are three extraordinary circus comedians – Jamie Bretman, Simon Wright and Jack Coleman. These highly skilled circus performers showcase a stunning array of the highest jaw dropping acrobatics, juggling and stunt work.
An off-hand pun around a swimming pool sparked the idea for this new show, which takes all the skills, stunts and comedy from Trash Test Dummies and turns it into something bigger.
“We’re stepping up the whole production. We’ve enlisted a sound designer, lighting designer, and working with stronger direction. Previously, we did this all ourselves,” says Jamie.
The troupe has enlisted the acclaimed Claire Bartholomew to direct the new show. Claire’s extensive directing and performance work has received no less than seven Green Room Award nominations, and one award in the Best Cabaret category. In addition to theatre-making, Claire is a renowned clown master-class teacher. She has worked as a Clown Doctor at Children's Hospitals in Melbourne and around Australia for 13 years and is also a Training Advisor for The Humour Foundation (Clown Doctors) nationally.
“We’ve enlisted Claire to help strengthen our storytelling. Where Trash Test Dummies was quite absurd and non-linear, Splash Test Dummies follows a stronger narrative and the audience really goes on an aquatic adventure with us, so Claire’s extensive theatre experience is invaluable,” says Jamie.
Armed with pool noodles, a giant beach ball and a huge bubble machine, the Dummies turn the theatre into a volleyball court, beach, bathtub and an underwater paradise. There are bubbles, water pistols and epic immersive action!
The success that this Australian circus trio has seen – at home and abroad – is remarkable. Jamie says a lot of it comes down to the approach the performers take with their audience.
“We blur the lines between the impossible and possible. If we can get even some of our audience members to run with the idea that anything is possible, we have achieved what we set out to do,” he says.
Full of laughs and plenty of surprises, this world-class troupe will display a brilliant array of catch-your-breath stunt work, acrobatics, juggling and the side splitting, slapstick comedy for which the dummies are famous. New to this production is the inclusion of unicycles, incredible magic tricks and inspiring puppetry.
Jamie, who also has a background as a youth worker, is passionate about using circus to improve the lives of young people across the country. He believes in encouraging imagination expansion through play, audience engagement and just being silly.
“We don’t talk down to kids, I’m a firm believer in this – It’s important to us to make the work really good. We are constantly improving the show and giving kids permission to be involved (or not), but to trust us. It’s a really safe space and it’s really interactive.”
The performance runs for 60 minutes and is for audiences of all ages. Be prepared to have your funny bone well and truly tickled and your mind blown by what the human body is capable of.
Splash Test Dummies, a new splash-tastic circus comedy.
1pm, Saturday 31 March – Sunday 15 April
Shows every day except Wednesday 11th April
Melbourne Town Hall - Lower Town Hall
Swantston Street, Melbourne
comedyfestival.com.au or 1300 621 255
Praise for Trash Test Dummies:
“Skills you’d see during shows by Cirque du Soleil or Circus Oz … it’s like nothing I’ve previously seen."
Herald Sun ★★★★ ½
“A show that barely pauses to catch its breath; a dynamic and fun show suitable for all the family”
Broadway Baby ★★★★