Comedy: Lords of Luxury

Luxurious is probably not the word that best describes the comedy troupe that entertained in The Bookshop at Trades Hall last night. Sweaty would probably be more fitting, or weirdly-awesome.Paul Verhoeven (triple j), Dan Debuf (Fox FM), Luke Ryan (Improv Conspiracy) and Matt Saraceni (The Big HOO-HAA) make up the Lords of Luxury, a skit act returning to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival with some new material. And it’s damn good.Beginning the show with some always awkward audience participation (anyone for Guess Whom?), the theme continues throughout. In this case, however, the audience was willing, offering sound effects on cue and playing along as amateur hypnotist-magician Saraceni set up an onslaught of hysteric laughter, hoorays and offbeat birthday harmonies.      A three-part saga encompassed the bulk of the show; Love Shall Sustain Me is a “sci-fi romance-action adventure story” written by Ryan as a 14-year-old. While Debuf expertly narrated the supposedly ultramodern tale, it was Verhoeven’s interpretation of an alien goddess — ­in particular her fluid and fast paced dancing — that had everyone keeling over in boisterous merriment. Rushing about on the cosy stage it’s no wonder sweat beads were forming, but what it did exhibit was the Lords’ commitment to their characters and part improv, part sketch-comedy wit.    The tuxedo-clad foursome put their attire to use in one scene only, but it was well-to-do worth it. Acting as snobby elitists wine-tasting on the Titanic, the boys took sips — hypothetical ones, of course — of a classic 1908 Shiraz and oddly some Moscato, which had them dropping to the deck and feeling masculine respectively. Then a flurry of iceberg and sinking related jokes put the audience in chortle-induced stitches.Nearing the end of their Melbourne rounds, there would be no greater (comedic) tragedy than missing the Lords of Luxury, complete with futuristic robots that somehow spur a slow motion bat-beating to the Harlem Shake. Confused? Watch the show and, well… you probably still won’t get it.The Lords of Luxury has two shows remaining at Trades Hall, Melbourne. For more information visit Jessica Buccolieri

April 19th 2013
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