By day, they’re David Megarrity and Samuel Vincent: academics, musicians and creative devisers. By night, or the nights of this week at least, they’re Tyrone and Lesley — the former a large-toothed, fez-wearing, ukulele-playing Master of Ceremonies; and the latter his bowler hat-clad, double bass-playing, non-verbal companion. This Brisbane Festival, Tyrone and Lesley have drawn on their twenty-year history of musical collaboration to create a unique cabaret experience. Playing at The Loft at Theatre Republic in Kelvin Grove, Tyrone and Lesley in a Spot is a charming wander through the back catalogue of this duo’s sweet and quirky little ditties.
The songs that make up this one hour show range from the sublime – moving ode to teddy bears ‘Bear With Me’ and heartfelt love song ‘Old Fashioned’, for instance – to the ridiculous – including ‘Excuse Me’, a song that is all about farts, and ‘Bottoms’, which is about…well, exactly what you’d think (but, if we’re honest, songs about farts and bottoms are pretty sublime, too). There are also a few gag songs in the mix: one about the phases of the moon; one about whether a moth does or does not like lights; and the comically simple ‘There is Nothing Here’. Tyrone’s insistence that the show will be nothing but songs proves false; his running commentary between musical numbers keeps the tone of the show humorous, although the smattering of dad jokes throughout may elicit some groans from the audience, as it did on opening night.
The third character in Tyrone and Lesley in a Spot is the pull-up projector screen that sits between them, showing a steady stream of animations that complement (and sometimes ironically comment on) the music. The projections also create sight gags; a comic highlight of the show is Tyrone seemingly disappearing into the screen over and over again, suggesting a sort of hysterical hall of mirrors. Lesley disappearing behind the screen only to appear through a door within it moments later is also a winning moment. Being non-verbal, his attempts to draw Tyrone’s attention away from his ukulele by simply waving prove fruitless.
With its gentle, unpretentious humour, clever musicianship, airtight timing and deep commitment to gag motifs, Tyrone and Lesley in a Spot is an eccentric and delightful night out. It plays until this Saturday afternoon only, so get in quick to avoid disappointment.