Watson’s Go To Hell is a spooky theatrical delight claiming to cure you of fear forever. You can imagine the kind of adventures and laughs that statement alone is going to take you on, as Adam McKenzie, Tegan Higginbotham, and Liam Ryan take you on a frightfully funny journey through fear itself.
Following their sell out season of Who’s Afraid of the Dark at the Old Melbourne Gaol for MICF 2015, which won best comedy at the festival, this show is also the 2017 Moosehead Award Recipient. McKenzie, Higginbotham and Ryan are all accomplished comedians, writers and actors, appearing on a variety of shows from Whose Line is it Anyway Australia to The Project.
The show is bigger than their last, set in the Malthouse’s A’Beckett Theatre which is a perfect space for this show. Actors are able to sneak in and creep around the back and sides of the stage, and with the creative use of sound effects and lighting, the cast are able to create multiple spaces and moods, breaking up the spine tingling stories with moments of comedy and taking the piss. Locked in the old Melbourne Gaol after dark, versus the most typical well known scenes , tropes and stereotypes of horror films, they juxtapose the moods to create suspense and comic relief throughout the show.
Direction by Steven Gates is sharp, with the whole show skewed to be a bit spooky and unnerving, while still deadpan and deadly funny. As each performer reveals what frightens them most, and their scary stories, and free themselves from that burden, we learn a little more about each performer as well as what keeps them up at night.
The dynamic between Ryan, McKenzie and Higginbotham is like a funny little family, of friends and people who are close and care about each other, as they tease each other like siblings. Its factual and funny, while riffing on politics and the shock value and effect of click bait. The space is well used, and the technical effects are brilliant with a tight soundtrack of sound effects and ambient noises to build suspense and tension. The transitions to these are cut a little short, or the editing of the effects is a little bit too blunt, but the overall effect is really well done and well thought through. It’s something a little different and a little more theatrical for the Comedy Festival, but it is a really fun night out.
A well orchestrated, unsettling but very clever and frightfully funny night at the Malthouse Theatre, catch Watson’s Go To Hell until 23 April.
Tickets and more info at: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2017/shows/go-to-hell