I had never heard of Aunty Donna until last week.
From the array of shows at the Brisbane Comedy Festival I decided to see it because it was billed on the Powerhouse website as a ‘glorious crossbreed of The Mighty Boosh and Flight of the Conchords’ [sic]. “Hoorah!” I cried. “Loveable characters! Catchy music replete with clever lyrics! Insights into the human condition!”. I was deceived, dear reader. It didn’t have any of the warmth, wit or whimsy of those shows. I knew I was in for a long hour when it began with a skit that was cringingly ‘Strayan, with laughs for things like saying ‘platamaus’ and ‘doggerydoo.’ Of course, reviewers occasionally see shows that are just not our cup of tea and I recognise it is important to remain unbiased and still convey information about the show to potential audience members of different tastes…. so here goes.
You might enjoy this show if you like watching three grown men randomly skip around and club-dance to music, or if you don’t mind casually sexist references to “girl problems” because some girl “wouldn’t let me pash her in the back row”. You might also enjoy this show if you appreciate songs with lyrics like “Pinch me on the bum. Pinch me on the bum”- which managed to simultaneously trivialise sexual assault and make a joke out of homosexuality (since it was guy on guy pinching). You might delight in other lyrical hooks such as “Cordial. Cordial. Let’s all drink some cordial!” repeated over and over again. If you like gratuitous and continuous C and F bombs and lines like “I’m shitting blood out my arsehole!”
If you’re a sadist, you will also revel in seeing the same audience member, who clearly is painfully shy, being pulled up onto stage time and time again.
Aunty Donna undoubtedly has appeal to some, as many of their shows sold out and everyone around us was laughing (and the back row even gave a standing ovation), but it was lost on me. It felt like a giant in-joke that I was just not a part of.
Aunty Donna played at the Brisbane Powerhouse as part of the Comedy Festival.