Sammy J & Randy 'absurd, funny and very slick'

Sammy J & Randy 'absurd, funny, slick'

CHARLIE GATES
Last updated 15:26 25/01/2013
Daniel Tobin

Charlie Gates has a chat with Melbourne buskers Sammy J & Randy.

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REVIEW: If you are a certain age, you will have grown up with puppets.

Kermit, Doozers, Miss Piggy, Basil Brush, Lambchop, the Dark Crystal, Oscar the Grouch, Yoda, Zippy, Fraggles, Thingy, Jareth the Goblin King and that thing that sits next to Jabba the Hutt.

Our childhood was spent staring in wonder at the beguiling power of puppetry.

You could say we are a generation of Muppets.

So I am perhaps predisposed to love a double act where one is a distinctly muppety puppet with purple felt skin and big googly eyes.

Sammy J & Randy are an absurd, funny and very slick double act with a repertoire of hilarious songs and quickfire routines.

Sammy J is the human half of the double act who plays piano and tries to keep his rambunctious flatmate, Randy, in check.

Randy describes his ethnicity as ''haberdashery'' and is a foul-mouthed foil to Sammy's more highfalutin ideas.

Together they swiftly whip through songs about the census, mime cars and accidental girlfriend sharing.

The show is built around the natural chemistry between the two performers and incredible puppetry. 

There is something special about puppetry. A good puppeteer can endow a pile of fabric with life, expression and character.

It's like a form of magic. I've seen an oven glove come alive in the right hands.

Puppeteer Heath McIvor, who is responsible for bringing Randy alive, could definitely be described as the right hands.

It is an art form I adore.

This show puts that art form to good use in a bawdy, fast-moving show peppered with expletives and off-colour jokes but still retaining a kind of cheeky charm.

If I have one criticism, it would be that the show is about one song too long.

There was a number in the final third that could have been dropped to keep the show moving forward.

But that is a minor quibble in a show this funny.

Sammy J & Randy is a fun addition to the world of puppetry.

Having grown up with the stuff, its nice to see I can continue to enjoy puppetry as an adult.

Sammy J & Randy, The Press Club, Hagley Park.

Every day at 7pm.

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- The Press

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