Slack Mirror: Dystopian Sketch Comedy opened at Brisbane’s Wonderland Festival on Thursday night for a strictly limited run, playing to a packed and enthusiastic audience in the Graffiti Room at Brisbane Powerhouse. The project is a collaboration between comedians Amy Currie and Drew Lochrie, known to Brisbane audiences for their frequent appearances in ImproMafia and Act/React productions.
In Slack Mirror, these experienced performers set their satirical sights on pertinent contemporary themes such as technology, politics and existential demise. The series of sketches, which run for a tight forty minutes, range from laugh-out-loud funny to quietly thought-provoking. Currie and Lochrie skilfully harpoon our cultural addictions, particularly social media and our too-trusting attitude to technology, while winking to the audience that they partake in these same addictions. The message of the show (if you want to look for one) is that the audience has a choice. The titular mirror has been held up to our self-destructive habits, but do we choose to break these, or embrace our potential downfall with a shrug and a laugh?
The writing, staging and performance of Slack Mirror are all to be commended. Particular highlights from the show include a non-verbal sketch about an alien interaction and a series of placards (I won’t ruin it for you), and Currie’s uncannily accurate portrayal of a Google Home assistant (like, really, scarily accurate). Both performers work in a series of accents, which not only showcases their range but helpfully delineates the different characters who appear sketch to sketch. A simple soundtrack helps cover scene transitions and evokes new settings with economy and ease. Props and costume changes are used sparingly, but to great effect. The curtain call is the most disappointing aspect of the show, only because it comes too soon.
Currie and Lochrie are to be congratulated on their sellout season. That’s one big heart emoji to the Slack Mirror team.