The Dumtectives are on a mission: uncover the murderer, navigate the seductions of a (marionette) femme fatale, and avoid bitter betrayal. Outright chaos ensues, with aerial adventures, knife juggling, thrilling car chases and even interrogations of suspicious looking audience members.
The wildly funny, uproarious spectacle is co-directed by Dummies Corp founder Jamie Bretman and seven-time Green Room nominee Clare Bartholomew, who has directed Dummies Corp shows to great acclaim.
Since 2012, Jamie has grown Dummies Corp into Australia’s leading family circus comedy company, with consistent touring around Australia and the world, picking up a slew of awards along the way. This is the company’s first foray into adult theatre.
Read on to spend 5 minutes with Jamie Bretman.
How would you describe your show to someone who knew nothing about it?
The show takes what we know and love about film Noir and flip it on its head. It is an adult themed, narrative driven physical comedy with a world class cast of circus artists. You can expect to see old gags done with a contemporary twist, jaw dropping acrobatics, boylesque interrogations and seductive puppetry.
What/Who was its inspiration?
The cast were the inspiration for this show. It was their concept and we really wanted to highlight their strengths both as circus artists and comedic performers.
What do you think its best quality is?
The integration of circus skills into the narrative. This is a recurring challenge circus shows face. How do 10 juggling clubs fit into the story or the scene? Our show does this exceptionally well. In addition to this it is using clowning and physical comedy to entertain adults.
Why should people see it?
It is a great night out full of laughter and wow factor. You will be entertained, probably turned on and you may even pee your pants a little bit with laughter.
If there is one thing you would like to say to your fans, what is it?
This is our company’s first adult show so most of our fans are families. I would have to say if you love what we do, get a sitter and let us take care of the rest.
Who or what has been the greatest influence on your career?
I can’t say there is just one greatest influence. There are artists that inspire me such as the umbilical brothers, Gamarjobat and Buster Keaton but also my producing mentor Lauren Eisinger who was an integral part of the success of my shows and company.
Who makes you want to create?
The team I work with. We are constantly talking about different concepts and ideas about what we want to create. We end up talking for hours on end and I get super excited about creating new work.
When did it become clear to you that comedy and entertainment were your passions?
Being a class clown from primary school I knew I loved the way making people laugh made me feel. I would also go home after school and watch stand-up comedy, who’s line is it anyway and Mr bean. I would analyse why I thought it was funny and was fascinated with the control these actors had over the way the audience would feel.
What does comedy, creation and entertainment mean to you?
For me it is all about the audience. I want them to laugh and have a great time. If they are not laughing I need to change what I am doing. When you create without an audience you can only guess (informed guess) what will work but it Is not until you get to go live that you get to interact with the strangers in the crowd and create a connection through laughter. Not just between yourself and the audience but them as collective. They are sharing this experience and connecting through laughter. It is so magical and beautiful.
What are 3 words that describe you?
Brooklyn 99 addict.
What are 3 things that would surprise people to learn about you?
I am a swing and blues dancer.
I Can solve a rubix cube.
I look great in dress and raised over 12k for ovarian cancer research during lockdown as part of Frocktober.
How excited are you to be performing in front of a live audience again after last year’s covid shut down?
This is where I thrive. It is like magic I cannot explain. Spreading laughter around the world is the greatest gift I have ever been given and it is an absolute privilege.
What is next for you?
Keep touring all 3 of our works and spend the time refining them. Like a good cheese, they get better with age.
The Dumtectives in Cirque Noir
From the prolific, internationally acclaimed Dummies Corp, comes a killer new circus comedy for adults, Dumtectives in Cirque Noir. Lacing Circus into the genre of ‘Film Noir,’ the world premiere show takes noir’s murder mystery tradition and flips it on its head with a slapstick kick.
Set in a by-gone era of cheap dames and dirty dicks, Dumtectives in Cirque Noir smashes together devilish, wow-worthy stunts with guns, fun, and innuendo. It’s got all the 1940s whodunnit cheek of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, with an MA15+ rating.
Starring the multi award-winning, acrobatically-agile and comedically gifted performers Amy Nightingale-Olsen, Thomas McDonald and Leigh Rhodes, this brand spanking new extravaganza will play The Famous Spiegeltent from 6 – 18 April. Tickets are on sale now via www.artscentremelbourne.com.au