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Chimp Cop is arrestingly great comedy

4/5

Chimp Cop might just be one of Melbourne’s best-kept secrets. The quartet, featuring Rosie Vernel, Ben Vernel, Adam Knox and Tim Clark, have just begun their run of their fourth production, Death of Chimp Cop. However, don’t fret – this reviewer was a first time watcher, so there’s no need to have seen the previous instalments. Clearly, the multiple productions have allowed the group to develop a strong chemistry, with some of the funniest moments in the show where the performers were bouncing off each other, seemingly off the cuff. The performance wasn’t flawless in terms of smoothness, but this only served to add to the hilarity. It’s refreshing to watch performers who clearly enjoy being on stage together.

Whilst some comedic plays may fall into the trap of trying to take themselves a bit too seriously, where Chimp Cop shines is poking fun of themselves – there’s a certain charm to a cheesy joke done well, and this was fully embraced by the performers. However, that’s not to diminish the acting in any way – there are serious acting chops on display, especially from Tim Clark, who plays the titular Chimp Cop. With only four members of the group, there’s certainly some doubling up of roles – which the group references. Self-referential and deprecating gags pepper the show, and only serve to endear the audience more. You can’t help but fall in love with Chimp Cop.

There’s an equal measure of puns/wordplay and genuinely hilarious jokes on display, and jokes that might not work coming from the mouths of other comedians get some of the biggest laughs from the crowd. You might find yourself groaning at certain points of the performance, but don’t worry – it all hits. The group manages to pack more gags into a 50 minute performance than you might be expecting, with even the throwaway jokes working. Watch for the performers trying not to break character when the audience laughs particularly hard – it’s one of the little joys of watching Chimp Cop.

 If you’re looking for a break from the mountains of stand-up shows currently on at the festival, this might be your bag. Doubly so if you’re a fan of ridiculous cop shows, which the group playfully emulates. The group plays up all the ridiculous stereotypes oft-seen in cop shows of a bygone era, as well as paying homage to the parodies of said shows. There’s a Naked Gun-esque vibe about the group, and fans of the series are in for a treat. Indeed, this is what this reviewer imagines Naked Gun would look like if it was borne out of Brunswick. However, even if you’ve never seen a cop show in your life, this show is still one hell of a bang for your buck. Catch this group now before word gets around, because Chimp Cop have delivered one hell of a show. This is a production that might just be destined for bigger stages.