'Rhubarb' brings you back to the early days of comedy

3.5 stars. 

You can’t handle the truth, but don’t stress, because in Rhubarb you only need to identify it from a lie. Think of the UK TV show ‘Would I Lie To You’, throw in some of Australia’s finest actors, musicians and comedians and you’ve got Rhubarb.

Rhubarb takes the audience back to those early days of comedy, to its core. With its loose structure and witty banter, chaos ensues for the 90-minute show. A varied and excellent line up of guests featuring comic writer/actor Candy Bowers, comedian Mark Swivel and musician Matt Downey, who were captained by actor Kate Jenkinson (Wentworth, Offspring) and writer, musician Pinky Beecroft.

The crowd gathered round, (with the first two rows taken by Wentworth fans) to hang on each word of the panel, in the gorgeous Collingwood Melba Speigeltent. As the night relaxed, it almost felt like the audience, had all tip-toed quietly into a friend’s dimly lit bedroom and somehow accidentally found their diary wide open. We all eagerly flipped through the metaphoric pages to read some cheeky and deeply personal stories, most seemed too wild to be true. Truth or lie? Biscuit or rhubarb? That is the question the panel and audience ponder throughout each superbly spun tale from a talented bunch of Aussie weirdos.

The stories are then dissected detail by detail, each question more probing than the last. It is when the panel has decided, the guest in question reveals their truth. To our surprise, many tales were true, or ‘biscuit’ in the case of the game.

Story highlights were of Swivel’s date with Nicole Kidman, Jenkinson’s run-in with Wentworth fans and strippers, Pinky’s re-telling of the time he told his brother their father had passed away and moments later having to tell him their father was in fact still alive which ended up all being true. Bowers’ shared a tale about her being flown to Finland to partake in an adult film which ended up being complete rhubarb.

With a solid night of quips and engaging storytelling, Rhubarb is refreshingly honest.  

By Phoebe O'Brien.