Having watched Oyster Eyes Presents: Some Rice, you find yourself trying to work out what it is exactly you have just seen. Was it genius? Madness? Or both? Most of the time is spent feeling terrified of the troupe and the prospect of being abducted on stage: a fate which many other trembling Underbelly guests were met with.
Oyster Eyes are on the one hand a group of extremely talented and versatile actors, and on the other, if you hadn’t already guessed by the title of their show, complete lunatics. Although exceptionally well-rehearsed, well-costumed and well-scripted, each moment seems spontaneous and is completely unpredictable. It’s loud, it’s fast-paced and it’s accompanied by aptly chosen songs.
They tend to take quite standard and accepted genres of entertainment like suburban TV series, cabaret and stand-up, and then subvert them beyond recognition. Although, it is difficult to pinpoint what actual subject matters they took on in their sketches, or what they really consisted of besides evil hairdressers, polygamists, a drag queen Roxy Hart and a nutty pair of feminist, Eastern European comics, to list but a few of their crazed character creations.
The only thing to be said against them is that they are an acquired taste. They have a very distinct, very original style of highly absurdist comedy, and although some people will relish it, others will just not get it. Even so, somewhere between Phillip Dunning’s psychopathic laugh, Natasia Demetriou’s vulgar charm, Pheobe Walsh’s deceptively innocent looks and Liam Stewart’s deadpan stare, your sides will split, either through laughing, or shaking with fear.