Review: The Wrecking Ball

Riona Millar 12 November 2019

This was very silly indeed.

Fans of the fourth wall, beware – this show contains only five sketches that do not interact with, knock on or destroy it altogether. I was disappointed that there was no actual wrecking ball in the show – one can never have too much demolition equipment in comedy – but Jade Franks, Nusrath Tapadar, Dan Bishop, Harry Balden and Rohan Sharma far and away made up for its absence throughout the show’s many-layered and madcap sketches.

I do always struggle somewhat with keeping the balance between explaining my favourite parts and ruining all the jokes, but I’ll do my best to try not to stumble too far either side. I will say that this was a horrible show for me to see with the tail end of a cold, because every time I laughed I coughed, and I was laughing for pretty much the entire show.

Highlights for me included the Mystery Sketch, where the audience choose one of three sketches to be performed by various cast members – I shall say no more; the unification of The Boys, featuring an innocent audience member who might have been a vampire; The Assassination, featuring an EXCELLENT Boston Irish accent from Harry Balden; our Year 2…linguistics (?) lesson from Dan Bishop was suitably, utterly ridiculous. Rohan Sharma’s interrogation tactics left no stone uncovered, and Nusrath Tapadar made an excellent sales pitch for Yeezys, while Jade Franks took a spork to the 14th century. Actually, come to think of it, sporks were an important feature, appearing in instances from the aforementioned time travel to a witchhunt to countless other odds and ends. I could keep going, but then what would be in the point in your seeing the show? (Actually, it’d still be really funny, so…there’s the point.)

As can sometimes be the case with shows of this ilk, there were moments where the pace lagged somewhat, or a joke fell a little flat – but the production was so self-aware that it constantly kept things moving and reshifting.

I particularly enjoyed moments where mistakes were made that were then absorbed into the shape of that particular skit: Rohan forgetting his line became “Ahahaha, Rohan’s line was about forgetting his line” – who doesn’t want a spot of metatheatricality in their sketch shows?

Ultimately, it was really good fun to watch. There was no tangling plot to desperately try and follow, no emotional crisis or heartrending twist 12 minutes from the end – it was a perfect antidote to Week 5 blues and an opportunity to have a really good, unhurried, bellyaching (or in my case, throat-hurting) laugh.

That said… watch out for the front row.

4 stars.