Colwyn and Filip comprise the sketch comedy duo Woah, Alyssa!. After a couple of years on the Melbourne improv scene and as part of another sketch comedy group, the pair has devised a show of their own that’s already found acclaim at both Adelaide Fringe and Fringe World in Perth.
The show is a fine debut for the pair, jumping from silly puns to physical humour and sharp satire at breakneck speed. The duo showcase their range of character-acting throughout — they’ll often jump into playing a third, fourth or fifth character that adds a new dynamic to each scene.
The opening sketch about the history of same-sex kisses on television should work better than it does. However, that may have been down to nerves. Undoubtedly, Colwyn and Filip grow in confidence as the show progresses. Soon we are introduced to recurring characters: Barbara Binks, an over-the-top talent agent, and her assistants Paxton and Kroffner.
One of the smartest writing choices the duo has made is to connect the sketches with these three central figures and to build an ongoing narrative. This increases the urgency and hilarity of situations, with the audience getting to know the characters further as the show progresses.
The sharpest piece of satire is an interview with Sir Michael, an actor who has made his career playing a female caricature named Velma Fanny. It’s one of the many digs the show makes at dated humour and how much sketch comedy, film and television have changed over the decades.
The title Woah, Alyssa! 1 confidently suggests this won’t be the only time we see this pair on stage together. Here’s looking forward to the second instalment.