Comedy Festival 2012 review: Idiots of Ants

By Paul Simei-Barton

Add a comment
Idiot of Ants. Photo / Supplied
Idiot of Ants. Photo / Supplied

The intriguingly named Idiots of Ants open with an elaborate homage to Pirandello's Six Actors in Search of an Author, which proves to be the perfect emblem for a sketch comedy troupe that has obliterated all remnants of the boundaries that once separated role-playing from reality.

The Idiots of Ants inhabit a media-saturated world where gaming consoles, slo-mo replays, Facebook pages, subtitles, Photoshopping and sound effects are blended into an ironic, self-referential soup that is sharply seasoned with a touch of Pythonesque absurdity.

The enigma of the group's name can be solved by exchanging a word space for a letter space and adopting a faux French accent but this kind of cleverness is constantly undercut by a wildly energetic performance style.

The more successful sketches rely on physical theatre techniques and the boys are not averse to a bit of toilet humour.

The lads throw themselves into their roles with the reckless abandon of a Theatresports troupe and the unpredictability of the storylines suggests the highly polished script has emerged out of some seriously chaotic improv sessions.

With a quick-fire sketch comedy format there are inevitably a few misses along with hits but the rapid pace of the show means the laughter keeps flowing, and when the audio-visual effects fail to keep up with the action the gaps are filled with skilful ad-libbing and audience interaction.

Behind all the technical sophistication and pop culture references the humour is grounded in some sharp observations of middle-class manners with some great gags on fatherhood, family life and gender differences.

What: Idiots of Ants
Where: Herald Theatre
When: Until May 5

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf05 at 24 May 2017 12:28:46 Processing Time: 476ms