MICF: Why are they laughing?

What’s worse than being the only person in a room laughing? Being the only one not laughing – and not knowing why the rest of the theatre is cacking itself.

The Pajama Men
The Pajama Men

The Pajama Men are slick and skilled and charming in a nerdy way, have won a stack of international awards and have mobs of adoring fans all over the place.  In the Middle of No One is a series of sketches (filled with jokes but no pay off) that are finally linked with some neat story telling at the end. The two pj-clad men play every part.

I glare at people who dare to talk in the theatre but, I broke my own rule (and we were in mostly empty row) as my date asked, “Why are they laughing?”. All I could say was, “I don’t know”.

Are silly voices and silly walks really the way to fill a theatre? There were more people at this show than see amazing local shows that run all festival. What continued to leave me slack jawed was that the biggest laughs came from the voices impersonating silly people with silly accents – with no reason for the accent apart from it sounding silly. Foreigners are funny. And effeminate foreigners even more so. But not as funny as dudes pretending to be women with piercing voices and humungous tits, which they call breasts because that’s not offensive. And, yes they also play black women who lick each other.

It’s a joke woman!!! It’s common knowledge that latte-drinking, theatre-going, book-reading (uptight) white chicks don’t have a sense of humour, and the proven list of funny things is: non-Aussie accents and attitudes, poofs, lessos, chicks and tits.

Great comedy can change attitudes by showing the ridiculousness of hate and the fear of difference. When comedy supports these attitudes…

This show isn’t a lefty, hipster, arty show about content, it’s about demonstrating the obvious talent of the performers. But there are plenty of talented people out there and I like shows with heart and guts.

Anne-Marie Peard

Anne-Marie spent many years working with amazing artists at arts festivals all over Australia. She's been a freelance arts writer for the last 10 years and teaches journalism at Monash University.

Anne-Marie Peard

One thought on “MICF: Why are they laughing?

  • Absolutely agree.  Having just seen them at the MICF, I was perplexed as to why they get such glowing reviews.  Yes, they’re talented actors, but the show is too long, very repetitive, and just not funny.  I couldn’t wait for it to end.


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