The stage is a shimmering curtain of pink, framed by walls of a matching shade. Nurse Regina saunters to the front of the room and alights the stage, knee high white boots and red fish nets setting the sultry mood as she welcomes us all to PO PO MO CO’s contribution to this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival: Nosfer-arse-tu. The name says it all – the lewd and wonderfully absurd humour of queer physical comedy group PO PO MO CO meets the classic vampire tale of Nosferatu, and they hit it off with a raunchy bang.
In the next hour, the audience play witness to, and participate in, an adventure tracing it’s steps to Nosfer-arse-tu’s castle, jeering and cajoling the local doctor on his self-proclaimed ‘frivolous homosexual adventure’, and the efforts of his wife to reclaim him home. Along the way he meets the kind of eccentric villagers and mystical hags you might find in Monty Python, only far, far more aroused.
The performances by all members of PO PO MO CO are strong, each stepping into their forte of physical performance, whether that be leaping gracefully, convulsing creepily, screeching spontaneously or shuffling with the vigour of a health professional seeking stimulation.
As the characters inch closer to Nosfer-arse-tu’s cheeky lair, the efforts of Nurse Regina’s earlier crowd warm ups pay off. The border between the stage and the audience is very much permeated with shouts and chuckles, the performers gaining more and more momentum as the crowd reward their jests with naughty giggles.
It’s a reveling experience sitting through a PO PO MO CO show – just when you think they’ve established the parameters of the evening’s innuendo, a friendly hag will lift up their skirt and take things up a notch. A one hour show with a single narrative is new territory for this crew, and they are exploring it with confidence. As the show reaches its biting finale, one can only hope to see Nosfer-arse-tu wobble on stage again soon.