If you thought that ‘Neighbours’ was about as mundane as Australian stereotypes got, then you were wrong. In this excruciatingly unfunny show, Bruce Dingerdik tries to reinvent musical comedy theatre by getting the audience involved.
The problem is Dingerdik barely qualifies for musical comedy in the first place, because all he does is sing out of tune to a karaoke soundtrack. His idea of getting the crowd to join in was to hand out a dozen maracas at the start of the show and then implore his petrified audience to shake them around a bit. To complete the failure, Dingerdik’s four songs – themed variously on such erudite subjects as how Yorkshiremen and Australians are different, how Scots and Australians are different – were lyrically bare and comedically disastrous.
Dingerdik is the comedy creation of Danny Payne, but the whole pretence just seems like a misguided, low-quality folly. Between his musical outings, Dingerdik attempted to play with some light stand-up, which consisted of a series of dialect-themed puns, all of which fell flat. Most of his subsequent gags revolved around heavy drinking and some extremely dodgy material about the newly tightened Australian immigration laws. His Scottish accent – which he insisted on rolling out on more than one opportunity – was abysmal.
To complete the bizarreness of the evening, everyone in the audience was given a can of Fosters and a goody bag during the final song. Despite the gifts, this reviewer was left relieved that the show lasted only forty-five minutes.