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REVIEW: The Umbilical Brothers – ‘KiDShoW (Not Suitable For Children)’

Words by Michael Horn

The Umbilical Brothers are back—with a Kids Show! It’s got everything a kid could want—happy songs, silly dances, coarse language, drug abuse, graphic violence, and even an appearance by Mickey Mouse! If your child enjoys Hi-5, the Wiggles or Marilyn Manson, they’re sure to love KiDShoW. And the kids don’t get all the laughs either—Mum and Dad will appreciate the creatively colourful cursing, and everyone’s inner child will warm to the faultless impression of a small-time Docklands drug dealer eager to distribute blowjobs.

Okay, so maybe KiDSHow isn’t actually all that suitable for children below the age of 18. But adults bringing the right mix of childlike joy and bitter cynicism will find plenty to enjoy here. It must be said that at present, the show is a bit uneven. The line between hilariously disastrous ‘kids show’ and under-rehearsed festival show is sometimes blurred, and the show takes a while to really find its feet. But the Umbilical Brothers are veteran masters of slapstick and sound effects, and when they get going, moments coalesce with childlike joy into scenes of magical, fucked-up hilarity. Just leave the kids in front of Sesame Street.

KiDSHoW is on at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival at the Arts Centre from 27 March to 13 April.