The Transmission Room, Auckland

05/05/2007 - 19/05/2007

NZ International Comedy Festival 2007-09, 2013

Production Details


Is it true that Willie Chalk sold his soul for his comedy song chops? Who was really behind Yevvil Snenson’s domination of the golden age of comedy composers? Did legendary 70s trio Slang really father that many children on the road? Tripod pay tribute to their made-up forefathers in this, a made-up history of the comedy song.

Dates:  Sat 5, Tue 8 – Sat 12 & Tue 15 – Sat 19 May, 8.30pm
Venue:  The Transmission Room, Cnr Mayoral Dr & Queen St, Auckland City
Tickets:  Adults $32.90 Conc. $27.90 Groups 10+ $27.90
Bookings:  Ticketek 0800 TICKETEK (0800 842 5385)
Show Duration:  1 hour

‘Scod’ (Scott Edgar)
‘Yon’ (Simon Hall)
‘Gatesy’ (Steven Gates)

Theatre , Music ,

1 hr

Musical comedy at its finest

Review by Sian Robertson 13th May 2007

Tripod are three Aussie blokes with two guitars, singing funny songs and sounding something like a twisted, rock/country Simon and Garfunkle with a kick.

Very genuine, multi-talented performers, their on-stage caricatures play off against each other beautifully. ‘Scod’ (Scott Edgar) is straightforward, bent, and proud of it, ‘Yon’ (Simon Hall) is the downtrodden, jaded lover (we always seem to come back to his interpersonal misfortunes), ‘Gatesy’ (Steven Gates) plays innocent defender of the wholesome, complaining about the others’ (delicious) tendency to turn everything into a cynical or bloodthirsty aberration.

My favourite moments are in the details: peripheral ‘ad-libbed’ bits that you might easily miss (more than once there was some lone member of the audience cracking up over some minor point that seemed to have escaped everyone else!), word plays, angelic harmonies incongruous with the sometimes sordid content.

Yon’s love song ‘We can learn from each other’ has me nearly break my chair in the throes of sardonic mirth and, concerned, the other two stop the song to enquire whether he’s having problems at home and does he want to talk about it. No. Throughout the show the songs are ‘interrupted’ by personal gripes about the direction of the lyrics and the appropriateness of the content. The banter is as entertaining as the songs themselves. They’re a very talented trio, with sacks of comic timing, oodles (not yodels) of musical flair, three beautiful voices, and a truckload of bent humour to make your eyes water and your mouth pop out.

In my experience it’s too easy for a comedian with a guitar to be hackneyed and a bit predictable. Tripod are fresh, unafraid, surprising and textured. Yum. The laughs sneak up on you and blow raspberries into your bellybutton whilst punching you on the arm of your etymological/ heartbreak/ pop/ morbid sensibilities. No tired gender jokes, scatology, racism jokes or political chidings (unless you count the one about trees being tormented by hippies) … The odd bit of sexual innuendo, but more along the lines of tainted love, sex at sea, grammatical reinvention, the horrors of Christmas, the double lives of fast food vendors, and short-pants-phobia.

There’s an easy charm about these chaps that makes them approachable and fluid. They’re clever without being too clever, although there were a couple of times when I was distracted from the fact that I was watching comedy by a moment of understated musical genius.

I like balancing out my praise with constructive criticisms, but I honestly can’t find anything to complain about. I’d gladly go back tomorrow night and see them again! They made me want to go straight home afterwards and write silly songs. Already half way through their two-week season, be quick and catch them if you can. No, make sure you bloody well go! Musical comedy at its finest.


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