Jones kicks off the sketch with stand up, priming the throng and is later joined by Johnson. Soon they are Guinea Pigs, clad in matching grey marle t-shirts and pants in a hermetically sealed room, being subjected to a series of psychological experiments by a disembodied robot voice, blaring through speakers flanking the stage.
Their Moosehead award winning show is an extremely clever concept and Jones and Johnson share a natural rapport. Both are comfortable on stage and put the audience at ease, in the quaint room at the Portland Hotel. Audience members are targeted as the butt of jokes, and are called up to participate in sketches which provides an extra dimension to the show. Flashbacks are nicely executed, and whilst no animals are harmed during the show, the same can’t be said for the marshmallows or the shadow puppet.
Despite a couple of punters laughing loudly and continuously, the series of sketches did not seem that funny. A chuckle rather than a belly laugh was all that this scribe could muster and the biggest laugh was for an audience member’s witty lines made up on the spot. Too madcap for theatre and not funny enough for comedy, Jonestown seemed to fall somewhere in between on this Wednesday night and the weak ending didn’t reach the intensity of earlier sketches.
Jonestown is an intelligent concept, Sarah Jones and Nick Johnson are instantly likeable, but failed to incite fully fledged laughter.
Portland Hotel, Cnr Russell & Lt Collins Sts, Melbourne
Tue-Sat 7.15pm, Sun 6.15pm (60 mins)
Ticketmaster 1300 660 013 & at the door
Full Fri & Sat $25, Full Wed-Thu & Sun $23
Conc & Group (8+) $20 (N/A Fri & Sat)
Laugh Pack & TT $20