Sunday, 16 April 2017

Melbourne Comedy Festival - Innes Lloyd's Journey to the Centre of the Earth

Innes Lloyd - Jules Verne would be so proud
Never read Journey to the Centre of the Earth? Save yourself the effort and spend an “Innes Lloyd hour” bouncing between the Jules Verne original and something like twelve adaptations from film, television, animation and – as was the style at the time – the concept album.

We trust that the always impeccably dressed Mr Innes knows the original novel well and the structure is all there. And we know that the equally well-dressed Rob Lloyd is there to riff on the story with rapid-fire references (watch out Brendan Fraser fans!) from the recesses of his pop-culture filled mind.

As with all Innes Lloyd joints, they absolutely have a script but they will not stick to it. There’s a charm to when one or other flubs a line, but what I love about their improvisations is that the audience feels responded to. Who needs a script when there’s a row of women who keep knocking over their glasses in the middle of the mayhem?

Pause for laughter.

It’s been a long time since I’ve read this Jules Verne, but I also appreciated the references to his other stories scattered throughout. The translation scene done as a training montage is some patented Innes Lloyd ridiculousness. And the actual Journey includes puppets, ping pong balls, Super Mario and a song from Rick Wakeman’s concept album.

If you’ve never seen an Innes Lloyd show before, shame on you. These two hilarious goofballs will cover all you need to know about a classic novel and which films you might want to watch instead and which you should absolutely avoid. (psst, never watch the Brendan Fraser version!)

Innes Lloyd are slightly worried that middle class white guy comedy is on its way out; but I think of them less as white guys and more as pop-culture referencing machines. And that’s a show all you nerds should see!

Innes Lloyd are doing this Journey one more time tonight at the Butterfly Club. Skip Doctor Who for it (you can catch up on iView later).

Full disclosure: Rob Lloyd starred in a play of mine once. He didn't stick to that script either ;)

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