Boisterous chaos and hearing-threatening mayhem makes this difficult to love
This article is from 2015.
Having chosen a name which might suggest something genteel and Sunday-ish, the Aunty Donna trio have opted to rip the throat out of sketch comedy and produced probably the loudest show the form has ever seen. There’s barely a moment when the music isn’t turned up to 11, the action is a sweat-excreting frenzy and, when it works best, the hysteria generated by the threesome and passed over into the crowd feels unstoppable.
But is it any good? If energy was the sole criteria for quality then these Aussie boys have got it made. Unfortunately for them, the relentless pursuit of a comedic storm just leaves an audience worn down by an hour in their company rather than being staggered at the levels of invention displayed.
Which is not to say that the show doesn’t have its merits. There’s a moment to relish that they wilfully generate when the home crowd half-pretends to turn on the trio after some discourteous remarks about the nation which is playing host to them for a month. And a sketch in which an act of bizarre violence is threatened in slow-motion is compellingly weird. The trouble partly lies in the fact that while they are physically different (with varying degrees of on-show hair), the threesome’s identities have little discernible variations to hang onto. With it all about maintaining the boisterous mayhem, the one-tone content and delivery simply makes it impossible to fall in love with Aunty Donna.
Gilded Balloon, 622 6552, until 30 Aug, 10pm, £11–£12 (£10–£11).