Idiots of Ants - Model Citizens
If anything could reignite Australia’s infatuation with sketch comedy, it’s UK comedy troupe Idiots Of Ants. The four funny lads have returned to Melbourne International Comedy Festival to present Model Citizens, a show bigger and better than its 2012 predecessor.
The first clue as to the group’s self-styled evolution is their stage design. The Banquet Room hosts lounge room decor reminiscent of your average sitcom. It’s a far cry from what Idiots Of Ants worked with previously within the Town Hall: they milked as much as possible from of a selection of props and office chairs, bringing their skits to life within a shoebox room. Model Citizens is a different beast entirely, in the best way imaginable. From the moment you cast your eyes to the stage, before the show has even started, there’s every indication that Idiots Of Ants intend upon taking advantage of their new-found space, with an audacious new show in mind. Pleasingly, the group rise to meet every expectation.
Idiots Of Ants present a veritable smorgasbord of imaginative and peculiar sketch comedy. Their sketches range from the clever, to the silly, to the downright absurd. They’re more daring than ever, coming along in leaps and bounds since their previous outing. They explore life at gunpoint, stage a Colgate-sponsored sketch, attempt an exercise in dating the audience, and face off with a foul-mouthed, fully grown baby. For a wildly varied selection of skits - a natural symptom of sketch comedy - Idiots Of Ants’ new show is wonderfully consistent in its results. It’s a hilarious show with plenty of surprises, including novel special effects, spots of audience participation and running gags (dismiss their ‘cockney ghosts’ sketch at your own peril).
Above all else, it’s the sensational chemistry between the four performers that makes the show such an enjoyable experience. Moreover, watching Model Citizens, there is the very real sense that the members of Idiots Of Ants - obviously great friends - are genuinely having a blast. This contributes to a cracking hour of comedy much more than perhaps even they realise. Overall, UK comedy imports Idiots Of Ants show that quality sketch comedy is truly something special to behold.
BY NICK MASON
Idiots of Ants - Model Citizens is playing at the Victoria Hotel, Banquet Room until Sunday April 21.