LAUGH, SQUIRM, GASP, DUCK, GIGGLE AND SCREAM
THE LISTIES DO COMPOOTERS
Made and performed by Matt Kelly and Richard Higgins
Presented by Time Out Theatre
at Concert Chamber - Town Hall, THE EDGE, Auckland
From 4 Oct 2012 to 9 Oct 2012
Reviewed by Nik Smythe, 4 Oct 2012
A raised stage in a ¾ round seating arrangement contains a giant-sized computer monitor upstage, a USB drive (Uninteresting Stuff & Bits), and a pink recycle bin bottom right for authenticity. Already I can see how this play from across the ditch may serve as an ideal gateway to get any chronically square-eyed children interested in live theatre.
The Listies are Rich the serious nerd and Matt the playful idiot. Besides Rich being kind of serious and nerdy whereas Matt is more playful and idiotic, you can also tell them apart by their ‘Rr' and ‘Mm' t-shirts.
As the show's title suggests, they are list operators who work extensively with computer programs and electronic media, and as the hidden pun suggests, they are stunted juveniles with a penchant for scatological humour.
Rich has painstakingly assembled this computer to serve as a visual aid in their hour-long tutorial on, you guessed it, computers. Matt meanwhile seems determined, perhaps subconsciously, to undermine all Rich's carefully prepared lessons, as is most poignantly evident when he mishears “instructions” as “destructions”.
The Listies take any and every opportunity to make clever or terrible (or most commonly both) jokes about all manner of IT jargon such as PowerPoint, Bluetooth and nano-technology, and internet fads and favourites like Facebook and planking.
There are also plenty of gags for the adults that the kids don't guess, though there will probably be some awkward conversations to be had as kids innocently enquire what Rich meant when he said about 60% of the internet is prawns…
Audience participation is a major element throughout. There's an onstage game of classic Pong (the worlds oldest computer game, and smell) played between an adorable little girl and someone's dad (me, as it happens. I lost). We're also instrumental in making key decisions in the would-be classic ‘World of Wool-craft' adventure.
All this and so much more happens in another outstanding piece of original holiday entertainment which neither lectures nor patronises, just makes the children and their parents laugh, squirm, gasp, duck, giggle and scream.
It's these brazen Aussie lads' first time in New Zealand; I hope they enjoy us as much as we have them, so that we get to see more in future. And if the kids behave they can come too.
Find out more at http://thelisties.com/imagegallery.html
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