Heaven For Worms (for people) - Sydney Fringe Festival (NSW)
Written and performed by Tim Dunk
Reviewed by Juliana Payne
Sydney Fringe Festival, The Factory, Marrickville Friday 2nd September, 2022
On a cold September night in Marrickville who would think you'd see satirical sci-fi comedy in a construction demountable? Well, I was lucky enough to see such a thing and it was the best kind of Fringe that one would hope to see. In this small demountable we got to see a solid comedy show with the potential to be a break out hit, after some time and money spent on development.
In keeping with being at the Fringe, the joyfully engaged audience were pink of hair, tattooed of neck, and chunky of jumper – I was glad to be among the audience and to witness a whole new potential in the comedy genre. The beauty of the Fringe Festival is that young and upcoming performers get to test their concepts, style, confidence, and skills on willing and welcoming audiences. Tim Dunk got such a welcoming and warm audience - as he should. Because Tim Dunk looks and sounds like a talented comedian, he can use the Fringe to hone his confidence and style. Indeed, he has the core ability to maximise both.
Dunk is a blossoming new talent – his show was uniquely in and of its time, with nodding references to contemporary social and cultural issues, but more importantly it had the signs of a solid piece of work that would reap rewards when developed. I know that performing in a demountable at the Fringe festival is part of the process of learning how to perform, getting through some hiccups with the audience, and washing through your own production issues. Dunk has the essence of talent and, hopefully, the drive to see it through in the Australian comedy industry.
This performance was a hilarious and unholy genetic combination of Tim Minchin, Morrisey, Charly from Flowers For Algernon and Dolores from Westworld. They were all rolled into one with Dunk using his comic skills to keep the audience on their toes – especially when we didn’t know when he’d be calling upon us to join him on the tiny stage.
Dunk knew exactly how to play his audience with knowing looks and a fine sense of irony as well as including slapstick and lots of absurdist moments of black humour – Dunk had a twinkle in his eye all through the performance. For a first solo show, Dunk delivered a promising Dada-ist structure and performance, with lovely absurdist humour and some fun audience participation - however unwilling and nervous they were! The special guest dead-pan appearance from his mate as ‘the scientist’ had everyone giggling.
With some time and money this concept could be built into a compelling tragi-comic show that – who knows – could end up on Netflix or Paramount+ one day – after all they laughed at Robocop and Universal Soldier…
You can find out what else is on at the Sydney Fringe this year by heading to the website