The clothes stay on but the wit is laid bare in a crazy adventure.

The boys are back in town and as Phil Lynott used to say: "Haven't changed that much but man, I still think them cats are crazy."

Twenty years after they started talking about their knives The Naked Samoans have returned - a tad more sophisticated and definitely a lot more dapper. The seldom realised promise of nakedness is replaced by a display of sartorial elegance that has the boys decked out Victorian Music Hall costumes.

The opening sequence is crammed full of laughs with perfectly timed delivery of razor sharp one-liners and a very clever bit of fake history in which the traumatised Nakeds disappear into obscurity after their initial stab at comedy was critically panned.

Oscar Kightley has become an up-tight bureaucrat at Ministry for Pacific Peoples while Robbie Magasiva is transitioning into a palangi. Shimpal Lelisi is washing windscreens in the Bunnings carpark and showing a talent for spoken word poetry while Mario Gaoa is working at KFC with a mute Dave Fane and Iaheto Ah Hi is urging the possums in Myers Park to lay off the native trees.


The set-up, enhanced by superb video projection, provides plenty of opportunities for the troupe's inimitable brand of madcap physical theatre as the boys embark on a fabulous adventure that is constantly interrupted by outbursts of bickering and vituperative exchanges of wildly inventive insults.

Their quest takes us into a haunted house which becomes a showcase for the talents of acclaimed director and magician Nina Nawalowalo.

There are some impressive illusions as a cute, but slightly creepy, bunny lures them into a maze of constantly shifting walls and staircases.

The energy lags a bit as the boys are separated for self-discovery sessions, but the group dynamic is re-established for an exuberant finale featuring a bravado display of classic magic tricks.

Theatre review
What: The Naked Samoans Do Magic
Where & When: The Civic, to March 25