What Are We, a new sketch group emerging from the USyd comedy scene, are not interested in providing a neat, bow-tied answer to the titular question of their first, self titled show. In a flurry of nervous energy, the trio enter in full body Spanx and step through a towel rack onto the ‘stage’; challenging the audience to guess what comes next. And you won’t. Unexpected and endearing, What Are We: Here We Are! is a refreshing debut Fringe Festival show, written and directed by the three comics on stage, Belinda Anderson-Hunt, Jadzea Allen and Concetta Caristo.
The self proclaimed best friends have a delightful chemistry that will win you over instantly. Their joy in sharing the stage with each other is palpable. But no one goes to sketch for the feel good atmosphere — What Are We also delivers on the laughs, with amusing build-ups and punchlines that come so far out of left field you’ll get whiplash from the reversals. These three comedians prove themselves to have great skill for putting a new shine on best-loved, yet often overdone comedic premises.
The currency of the show is middle-class angst; a showboating spin class attendee, the agonising three way call between hormone fuelled teens, over-helpful shop assistants, a supportive friend that gets off on tales of monogamy and commitment. Consistently, the sketches yank the audience from the unglamorous existence of their premise into the bizarre, meta, and absurd. Occasionally they leave too much space around the gags and the show doesn’t rocket from one sketch to the other, but the performers enter each scene with such effervescent vigour, you’ll instantly forget they ever left you waiting.
All three performers are skilled, with vastly different energies and it’s the consolidation of their strengths that makes What Are We: Here We Are! a gratifying hour of comedy. It may not be the tightest show of the festival but an evening in the company of these comedians is an evening well spent. What Are They? Funny. What Am I? Looking forward to what’s next for What Are We.