Dylan Murphy & Molly Daniels Are Dead | Melbourne International Comedy Festival review
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Dylan Murphy & Molly Daniels Are Dead

Melbourne International Comedy Festival review

Powerful drama school vibes emanate from Dylan Murphy and Molly Daniels’ best newcomer-nominated debut, full of frenetic energy and showy, over-the-top performances while being all about them, them, them… 

Inspired by their real friendship, they play two platonic besties – the lack of sexual attraction so firmly emphasised that it becomes the central plot point – in an unhealthily codependent relationship.

They start by leaping out of bed with a cheesy song about how they’re about to have the best goddam day of their  lives. But if you know the title, you’ll know what’s coming....

Visit Melbourne Melbourne International Comedy FestivvalMelbourne International Comedy Festiva news and reviews with Visit VictoriaWhat follows is a descent into purgatory, inhabited by lost spirits shorn of their corporeal bodies but temporarily able to enter Murphy’s and Daniels’, quite a neat device to allow the pair to become other characters, primarily a good ole American couple. To enter Heaven, Satan explains that all the pair must do is share a romantic kiss, even though it’s anathema to them. Did they mention their relationship isn’t sexual?

And that’s pretty much it, with all manner of randomness laid on top, enthusiastically performed but in lieu of actual jokes as the duo revel in messing about and flipping between daft caricatures.

Their silly, camp attitude – with in-jokes such as using ‘unfinny binny’ as tongue-in-cheek slang for unfinished business – flips between endearing and irritating. In performance and writing, they often feel like they’re trying too hard, whether it’s in being wacky or flaunting how progressive they are.

They also have a penchant for corny acting, heaping more ironic detachment into the show. Likewise, the internal logic is endlessly malleable, able to fit whatever off-the-wall idea they want to pursue next.

Daniels, who already has a string of TV credits to her name, can be convincing when needs be, but Murphy seems more self-conscious that this is nonsense, never losing himself in the performance.

That lack of commitment means we don’t really care about whether they go to hell or not, but more importantly fuels a feeling of self-indulgence, that both Murphy and Daniels are  enjoying dicking about with their friend. And if the audience enjoy it – and fair dos, quite a lot of them do, especially those from a similarly young demographic – that’s just a bonus.


Review date: 17 Apr 2024
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Melbourne International Comedy Festival

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