Oh Donna

A couple of months ago we received a media release from the Melbourne-based sketch comedy group Aunty Donna, telling us about their web series Aunty Donna’s Rumpus Room. Our policy with such media releases is to watch the shows when we have time but only to write something if we like and/or have anything interesting to say about them. In the case of Aunty Donna’s Rumpus Room we liked it, but whether the following review is interesting…well, you decide.

Aunty Donna’s Rumpus Room was part of the community TV sketch show Lost Dog and it’s also available on Aunty Donna’s YouTube channel. A good video to start with on YouTube is the Trailer, a series of lightening-fast sketches which together cover just about every way you could ever parody an “on the streets” vox pop video. As for the Rumpus Room episodes themselves, they contain a mix of a good sketches and sketches which need some work.

The most watched of the episodes is Sweetlove, which consists of a slow, not very funny sketch about a douchebag Russell Brand-lookalike DJ called Sweet Love, but is followed by a brilliant rant by a guy who gets called gay by someone leaning out of a car window. Similarly, Women has another so-so sketch about DJ Sweet Love, but this is followed by several better sketches. Our favourite episode was Lion which includes a sketch about Tony the door-to-door tea towel salesman. Throughout the sketch more and more revelations about Tony’s personal life emerge, each one funnier and funnier.

The production values on this show are about as high as you can expect from community television and we suspect the more successful sketches began life on stage, but the flaws are endearing, because the show’s made in the right spirit, and the bulk of the material is amusing enough to keep you watching. Hopefully Aunty Donna will get the opportunity to make more sketches for online or TV, but in the meantime the group have some live shows coming up the Melbourne International Comedy Festival which might be worth a look.

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