Hitting you head on with race dynamics, Australia Race Off is comedy mixed with challenge. It’s different to what else you’ll see at the Fringe and although grounded in stories of their experiences in Australia, a lot of work has been put in to making it relevant to the UK audience.
It’s a double stand-up act set up, which is already unusual, but it has to work that way – Quartermaine is a suspicious aboriginal wondering why an award winning white guy comic has turned up on his front lawn. It’s a tough topic to discuss, let alone joke about, but the two dynamic sides guide the audience, and assess their own reactions and laughs (and at times cringes).
If all this sounds very serious, and there’s some pretty dismal facts you’ll learn about the realities of the indigenous groups in Australia, then it’s worth pointing out that there’s heaps to laugh about, even some of the outrageousness of the different treatments Brendon and Craig have experienced. Brendon is larger than life and spins off into a sort of manic chaos that we all know him for and that will certainly stay with you. Craig is a calm, subtle comedian who sometimes looks as though he’s surprised to find himself there. It’s a perfect contrast to Brendon.
If you can’t look at yourself a little, cringe and laugh, then it’s going to challenge you. But that’s the point of the show. You’ll laugh and learn throughout, and realised how brainwashed we can all be without even knowing it. It’s a show that definitely leaves a strong impression.
Race Off runs at the Gilded Balloon Teviot at 18:45 until the 28 August 2017.