Adelaide Fringe 2013
Social Media legend has it that en route to Australia from their native Canada the Comic Strippers were surviving on a solid diet of deep fried Mars Bars. However they’ve arrived at Nexus Cabaret in remarkably fine physical shape for the Adelaide Fringe. The trio of modest but unquestionably handsome men present as a pretty diverse crew with a mixed background in stripping. There’s the novice, the one in mid-career and the silver haired guy who has passed his official ‘Best Before’ date, whom I understand provided Ben Stiller with the inspiration to create the Derek Zoolander character.
Not an overcomplicated show. Wearing little bow-ties and neat black slacks these dudes display every move imaginable to get the required juices of their audience flowing. One of their uncanny moves (they call it ‘The Slug’) displayed just how much juice they themselves have to share.
The predominantly female audience, most of them women on the verge of a gynaecological tsunami were provided ample opportunity to dictate their very specific desires to the guys by offering key elements to the show as it progresses.
This participation evidently made the performance extremely enervating for the audience as they became suitably overzealous to a point of high frenzy at times. A whole range of incongruous challenges were put out to the performers, from dental hygiene to laying bricks and the ever amiable Comic Strippers deftly complied with the demands of their hysterical fans.
One of the many highlights of the show involved the distribution of ping-pong balls in what seemed to be a male tribute to a scene in that fanciful Australian film ‘The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’. One of the cast flat on his back with legs akimbo made a fine impression; several balls took to the air and surprisingly long distances were achieved!
Unusual for a show such as this, the audience participation included bringing a male punter from the front rows up on stage to teach him some moves and challenge him in a dance-off; although the unsuspecting muscle builder from Down Under held his own quite well, nothing could distract from the Comic Strippers’ dexterous moves.
By the time the small Canadian crew were down to their undergarments (proudly displaying the Canadian maple leaf like so many Greek statues in fig leafs) it was finally impossible for some audience members to control themselves!
Girding their loins as a variety of women demanded to see their helmets or hoodies, the Comic Strippers busted some more magnificent moves and finally acquiesced by offering skin on skin contact and quick flashes.
Once this offer was made the tsunami finally struck and women of all ages rumbled up to immortalise the night brandishing their camera-phones!
Ultimately this is an extremely funny comedy show that showcases the mercurial improvisational talents of the three guys pointing their nipples to the spotlight. Relying on the audience to guide them, they clearly are masters of their art flexing every muscle available to tickle each funny bone in the house.
The Comic Strippers are Chris Casillan, Roman Danylo and Ken Lawson; they prove beyond a doubt that Canadian monkey business translates well to the Australian stage.
In the end it’s clearly not size that matters, it’s the way you deliver the goods and these guys were faultless.