By David Gardette
Following a highly successful sold-out Brisbane season A Very Naughty Christmas (AVNC) makes its way to Melbourne for a limited festive season. Creatives Alex Woodward and Dan Venz have devised and developed over the past 7 years this raunchy crowd pleaser. If you like your comedy loud, racy, in your face (Literally – just ask the guy in the front row!) and a tad inappropriate, then this is the show for you.
Re-imagining all your festive favourites, AVNC will have you laughing out loud (when you feel you probably shouldn’t) and squirm a touch uncomfortably at the audience participation! Yes, the thing we audience members fear the most is played out in all its glory! Billed as a comedy concert with skits, stand-up comedy, parodied carols and even burlesque, AVNC packs it all in and let’s face it, who doesn’t like a bit of toe-curling bawdy humour!
For those of us old enough to remember, AVNC is a bit Benny Hill, a bit Dirty Dicks and a whole of lot of bad Santa…. a very, very bad Santa.
As the swearing, hirsute, hyper-sexual Santa, Tim Paige keeps the pace cracking – even with an unfortunate case of opening night laryngitis, he didn’t miss a beat. Shay Debney is a hilariously naughty Santa’s Elf – with a penchant for bending over at any given moment. As the sexy barber- shop trio Kate Yaxley, Jordan Twigg and Rebecca Rolle are together vocally stellar and individual- they bring some wonderful comedic moments. Yaxley’s lust for Santa’s elf brings the house down; Twigg’s powerhouse vocals soar and Rolle channelling her inner Divinyls (I Touch Myself!) an audience hit! Hi-5’s Joe Kalou is seen as you’ve never seen him before! As if stepping off a Man- power stage, Joshua Spiniello hits all the right moves and Madeline Pratt’s burlesque routine ex- udes sultry and naughty. This ensemble is tight!
The two-level set (Josh McIntosh) and vibrant lighting (Declan O’Neill) work a treat at the intimate Alex Theatre with the fantastic three-piece band, led by Martine Wengrow, perched ‘god-like’ above the action. The fireman’s pole between the two levels gets a thorough work out. (No pun intended!)
A few small technical hiccups aside, the opening night crowed were obviously ready for a rollick- ing good time, put their inhibitions aside and go with this crazy wild ride. It’s a bloody good bit of fun, something not to be taken too seriously and a beaut night out…..just maybe don’t take your nan!
A Very Naughty Christmas runs at the Alex Theatre until December 23.