Oliver Coleman and Emil Freund are two newcomers on the comedy scene who debuted their premiere show Uncompetent to a sold-out audience at the sweltering shoebox that is The Tuxedo Cat.
From the get-go, the duo make it clear that they are a comedic team that has the potential to join the ranks of former Australian comedy act Lano and Woodley. The opening skit is sharp. There’s minor audience interaction, which they work with seamlessly, and in turn establish a high-energy, fast paced momentum for the remainder of the show.
Where the show takes a turn is shortly after the first 15-or-so minutes when the duo launch into a series of sketches. If you’re a fan of absurdist, Monty-Python style comedy at 30 minutes to midnight, this show is for you. If you’re not, best hope you’ve got layers you can peel off because you’re going to be stuck in that sweatbox of a theatre space until 15 minutes into the next day, watching a style of comedy that you may not quite appreciate.
The confusing and surprisingly slightly distressing portion of the show surrounds the main sketch that repeatedly resurfaces regarding a polar bear fighting for survival in an age of total environmental devastation. The introduction to this segment was shockingly bleak and combined with a later sketch about a fish who poops liquid filled condoms, it certainly provided a challenge for a few spectators.
The audience were completely on board with the opening of the show which included a very amusing sketch about masculinity in the 21st century that I still giggle about. However, as the show progressed, you could feel the audience dividing into those who found absurdist comedy funny and those who did not. So whilst this show may not be one of the most ‘accessible’ in the fest, it is certainly recommended for any fans of absurdist, slightly sexual, blunt and witty comedy.