2012 Melbourne International Comedy Festival:
• Sammy J & Randy in The Inheritance

Posted on 05 April 2012

I’ve been participating in the comedy scene long enough I’ve observed people go from performing in the back corner of a pub to the main stage at Melbourne Town Hall. Sammy J is one of those rising stars.

Sammy J and Heath McIvor found their characters and story format very early in their development. With those in place it has been a matter of finding a new subject each year and throwing as many funny ideas at it as possible, trusting most of it will stick.

Sammy J and the Forest of Dreams, Ricketts Lane, Bin Night and The Inheritance all work on Peter’s Principle: people tend to rise to their level of incompetence. In The Inheritance Randy inherits a house, car, and loads of cash from a rich English uncle. Randy and Sammy’s fortunes rise in British society until their usual shenanigans foment monumental disaster.

The Inheritance
is Sammy J and McIvor’s best effort yet. Their rapport is faultless and the storytelling has a solid snappy and even pace. Sammy J’s music is at its most tuneful and memorable. I wish they were selling CDs of the show. My favourite song “Sub-Woofer” should be playing on Triple J. It’s equally as hip as anything that has made the airwaves by The Bedroom Philosopher.

Worth noting are the amazing sets and the addition of various forms of puppetry. Each piece of scenery is cleverly designed to perform several purposes. The fireplace at the mansion also serves as a mini stage for shadow puppetry. To date McIvor has mostly done hand puppetry. In this show he also included a bunraku style puppet where feet, hands, and head are manipulated by several people, who create the illusion that the puppet is a complete living being.

The Inheritance is fast-paced, absurd, whimsical, crude, immensely fun and funny. I place it as one of the top three shows this year at the festival. Congratulations Sammy J and Heath McIvor!

Peace and kindness,



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