Entering the newly built and very cool yurt venue at Migration Museum for FASHION 4 PASSION, the audience’s eye is instantly drawn in. The rack of colourful costumes and flamboyant frocks appropriately sets the stage for an hour of highly energetic, immensely fun sketch comedy. With fast fashion, consumerism and influencer culture as their main targets, Sam and Jen produce sketches which are topical, entertaining and very, very absurd.
The sketches were sewn together cleverly, maximising opportunities for audience laughter. Each sketch was framed as a different ‘POV’, which they amusingly make clear means ‘point of view’ and is not to be mistaken as an abbreviation for poverty. A fantastic use of costumes, accents, lighting and sound cues were used to seamlessly move from one character and skit to another. I particularly enjoyed their use of Rihanna’s ‘Diamonds’ as transition music. Although, in their rendition, it was ‘SHEIN bright like a diamond’, a comical reference to the fast fashion giant they take shots at throughout.
The best moments of the show were the songs. Straight away the audience were pulled in by their punchy musical opener – always a good move. Performed as raps, they were enhanced by witty, rhythmical lyrics. Their accompanying dance moves were so funny because they really embraced the awkwardness of being over-choreographed. Very Ab Fab.
For all these moments of brilliance, some sketches lost track of themselves. Don’t get me wrong – absurdist comedy thrives off a descent into the mad and I’m not saying that every skit needs to be signed off with a punchline or a ‘pullback and reveal’. But while the premise of the sketch was often strong, the actual idea and central joke behind it was lost. For instance, in the middle of the show, there is a sketch which starts with a discussion about Sam’s Southern Cross tattoo and then incomprehensibly ends up with Timmy the child labourer (played convincingly by the show’s technician) coming onstage. This went straight over my head.
But despite their free-fall into the absurdist and at times, non-sensical, the two never isolated the audience for too long. They maintained laughter throughout as the script is sprinkled with absolute gems. Like WW1 soldiers in camo uniform being “outfit repeaters”. Or when, as influencers, they crackled their voices and feigned ‘bad connection’ as they are questioned about their unethical practices. Genius.
LeClaire and Laycock are both brilliant comedy performers. Their physicality throughout was something to behold – their ability to make people laugh through just the movement of a shoulder shows incredible talent. The stage is their natural stomping ground and the way in which they so playfully interacted with the audience is something to admire. Outrageously fun to watch, this talented duo are destined to go far with sketch comedy that is seriously à la mode.
Recommended drink: A tequila sunrise. Popping with colour and goes down a treat.
Catch FASHION 4 PASSION until 5th March at The Yurt at Migration Museum. Tickets are available through the Adelaide Fringe Box Office.