“Are you ready to make party?” Otto and Astrid Rot are a brother and sister pop-punk band from Berlin, played by real life Australians Clare Bartholomew and Daniel Tobias. Their first language is dance, they announce, before sliding into a robotic Europop routine, Astrid looking like a kind of galactic Snow Queen and Otto stiffly shuffling through the dance steps in matching red and black threads. Astrid has a strong diva streak, comfort eating handfuls of crisps mid-song when her emotions overcome her, and chinning vodka from the bottle when one of her brother’s attempts at a worthy, Social Justice Warrior ballad pushes her over the edge. Otto is a very earnest young man, who idolises Chris Martin and Bono and would like to write a raw vegan cookbook. His wet, namby pamby ways are a source of constant irritation to his co-star, Astrid who prefers hard drugs, orgies and the music of Pussy Riot and Peaches to his folk songs and endless petitions.
There are definite dips in the show, where daft rhymes or a couple of not-so-earwormy songs create a bit of a lull, and it maybe runs on a bit long. But the ongoing bitching and sniping from Astrid to her long-suffering brother is a good counterpoint to the sillier, slapstick stuff. Otto thinks Astrid is a sell-out, she thinks he’s a square, and their ongoing argument continues all the way through the show, soundtracked by their drum and guitar ditties. A bit like a clowny, cabaret version of The White Stripes.