MICF – Adult Entertainers Australiatopia

by | Apr 16, 2024

BY Bec Johnston

It’s tough to so much as glance at your phone right now without being inundated with images of climate crises, war and genocide, unthinkable death and suffering. It becomes difficult to envision a better and brighter future when facing down such chronic despair. If you are anything like me, you may spend your evenings staring at the ceiling, pondering questions like: what will become of the world around us? How do I spare my loved ones from the inevitable misery hurtling in our direction? Where can I see a man in a lizard mask perform some poignant political commentary?

If this feels familiar, you are in luck. ‘Australiatopia’, playing at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival, offers some comedic paracetamol for our tragedy-weary heads.

Conor Lynch and Sam Cripps (Adult Entertainers) offer a wry vision of the future for our Wide Brown Land – where corporate corruption runs rampant and forced labour camps are the order of the day. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Relief is only ever a frosty can of mid-strength beer away, proof that not all that is culturally significant is destined to be lost to time. Indeed, Australiatopia’s prediction for 2074 is full of unfortunate hilarity, like when your cooking android short-circuits, left only able to do impressions of famous British chefs. Some sharply plotted AV elements helped elevate the sketches, with keen direction from Tiana Hogben (Thank God You’re Here).

Sam Cripps’ proficiency with accents and vocal chameleonism is on brilliant display as he weaves deftly between characters, while Lynch brings us the classic Aussie larrikin in all its forms. They’re an engaging pair, with Cripps’ exasperated straight man typically pitted against Lynch’s prowess as a physical comedian. This dynamic makes for a punchy and well-paced 50 minutes, skilfully showcasing the talents of both performers.

We move through various vignettes, illuminating a bleak tapestry of our country in half a century. The script writing is clever and timely, reflecting a sense of resignation to our collective fate whilst still retaining a cheeky edge. ‘Australiatopia’ invites us to think, but not too hard. Some sharpening of dialogue and delivery may have helped punctuate certain scenes better, but overall, the world feels adequately fleshed out given the short runtime.

Cripps and Lynch make good on their thesis to: “explore … a dystopian world where beloved stereotypes and urban myths are pushed to a complete extreme”, constructing a world that feels at once familiar and foreboding. Anybody seeking some reprieve from the onslaught of the daily news cycle should traverse the five floors of the Nicholas Building to take in the world of Australiatopia for themselves… before time runs out

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