Review: ‘The Official Awards Night’ is a delightfully unconventional work of sketch comedy

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Review: ‘The Official Awards Night’ is a delightfully unconventional work of sketch comedy

The Official Awards Night
Photography by Mae Hartrick
words by sidonie bird de la coeur

An absurdist recreation of Hollywood culture and award show ceremonies, ‘The Official Awards Night’ is an hour of unapologetically weird sketch comedy.

Miso Bell and Tyler Bain are the unprepared hosts of an awards show where everything can – and does – go wrong. It’s an hour of shamelessly strange and irreverent sketch comedy permeated by a distinct breed of awkward anti-humour, in which the pair revel in tricking their audience with orchestrated disorganisation.

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Reminiscent of the low-fi absurdist comedy present in the surrealist YouTube sketch series Two Wet Crew, Official Awards Night is a playful experimentation that breaks the boundaries of traditional comedy. Miso has previously written for Voiceworks, Low Frequency and Union House Theatre and Tyler can be heard on Triple R for Nat Harris and Hanna Camilleri’s Pet-Nat + Han an Chocolat Radio. Together, the two have created a tongue and cheek showcase of celebrity culture, as well as a pretty sweet celebration of their friendship at the show’s conclusion.

A blend of filmed and live content, the ceremony that Miso and Tyler are trying their best to host is marred with disaster as the chaotic duo forget the awards, forget their lines and try their hardest to steer the night back on track. In the running for awards is a line-up of increasingly eccentric and bizarre actors, including Dinky Bartman, Flick McGinty, Dorcan Smize, Skip Chipper and Collin Burpo for his one man remake of Little Women. Within these characters, Miso and Tyler riff on pyramid schemes, Hollywood whitewashing and unnecessary sequels.

An element of the show that worked particularly well are the segments of audience participation – one such moment is one where Miso and Tyler insist that an audience member has to leave the theatre to retrieve a bag that they left in the carpark next to the theatre.

Tyler’s recurring narration in the form of a movie script that he reads to the audience is also a highlight, as well as a segment where watchers of the show call in, but only to tell Tyler that they can smell him through their television sets. Another noteworthy moment is when Miso comes on stage with really, really long arms, screaming and crying about how they tried to pick something up and their arms just grew. It’s moments like these that characterise The Official Awards Night – silly and hilariously nonsensical.

A departure from at any form of traditional comedy, The Official Awards Night is a delightfully and intentionally unrefined and light-hearted work that playfully pushes expected boundaries.

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