There’s a flatulent nun and sex with a headless corpse but otherwise this new solo comic show from Marty Murphy is a class act.
He stands alone in his baggy pinstripe suit, with just an old upright mic and red velvet curtain.
You have to concentrate to keep up as he then hurtles you through 25 impossible characters on this bizarre journey of the imagination.
Murphy, however, keeps you with him as he slips in and out of all the voices. It’s a road movie of a show reminiscent of the Goon Show and a very speedy Hunter S. Thompson.
Travelling with us is Murphy’s flatmate, a hunchback called Flounder who runs a cleaning business, and Speedy Mustard, a four-year-old ghost.
This is a horror journey studded with the weird and wacky, I gather not unlike Murphy’s own low-budget horror movie, Lost Things, which he made and took to Cannes.
Murphy’s appeal is that he plays so candidly the role of himself, the nervous struggling comedian doubling as the equally struggling filmmaker from Wagga Wagga.
Our destination in fact on this desert highway is the Hay Municipal International Film Festival. With his latest film accepted, this is Murphy’s passport out of small-town infamy.
On the way we meet the smooth-talking Death, a paranoid junkie, and all sorts of phantoms and loonies. The script might sag towards the end but this is generally a masterpiece of inventive comedy, mime and lunacy.
It’s finely paced and directed by Murphy’s own brother, Tom, and is the last in a trilogy of comic monologues by Marty Murphy called Unfortunate Career Choices. Next he is due to work with comedian Flacco, in what seems a perfect marriage of spirits.
Meanwhile the compelling show, End Of The Rainbow, about the tortured last days in London of Judy Garland, is back in Sydney for a short season.
I saw it last year when Caroline O’Connor was breathtaking both in song and drama as Garland, simultaneously powerful, vulnerable and acid sharp. For this role she was rightly judged Best Actress in the Sydney Critics awards.
Jonathan Gavin and Michael Cormick will this time play the supporting roles of Garland’s prim pianist and her hunky fianc?anager -“ two polarised men each trying unsuccessfully to help her find a new rainbow.
Speedy Mustard is at the Stables Theatre until 13 May and End Of The Rainbow is at the Theatre Royal until 3 June.