Doug Anthony All Stars: Near Death Experience

Getting the band back together never sounded so good

★★★★
comedy review | Read in About 2 minutes
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Doug Anthony All Stars
Published 12 Aug 2017

"Millennial" has been a pretty common term bandied about at this year’s Fringe, be it as a term of criticism, or a rallying cry from those who identify as such. The aging Doug Anthony All Stars however, use the term to see if there are any in the crowd. After a pair of twenty-somethings walk out during a song about the not-very-Christian immigration policy of their native Australia, there are most certainly fewer than there were to begin with. This is not for the easily offended.

Much of the show works off the back of the implausibility of their reunion, particuarly due to Paul "Flacco" Livingston’s advancing age, and founder-member Tim Ferguson’s debilitating multiple sclerosis rendering him wheelchair bound. If you are particularly sensitive to ablist jokes it’s probably best to stay away. The trio get plenty of mileage out of Ferguson’s battle with MS and Ferguson himself seems to be having so much fun belittling his own mortality that it’s hard not to get on board.

There’s an easy-going dynamic between the old friends and they belt out some great songs showing some impressive range for a reformed supergroup – a feat many of their contemporaries have forgotten about when ‘getting the band back together’. You’ve still got to be able to sing. Funny, irreverent and dead offensive – it won’t be for everyone, but they don’t want everyone there.