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A Cracker Kransky Christmas - Riverside Theatres (NSW)

Presented by Riverside Theatres and The Kransky Sisters 


Reviewed by Juliana Payne

Riverside Theatres, Parramatta

16 December 2023

 

4 STARS


The queens of the incongruous return for a "cracker" of a Kransky Christmas

 

I can’t think of anything better to do on a 38-degree Saturday than sit in the dark coolness of the Riverside Theatre and laugh and cringe through another virtuosic performance by the Kransky Sisters. Mourne, Eve and Dawn Kransky (Dawn the youngest is their half-sister, as explained hilariously by the eldest Mourn – ‘when her father came, our father left...’).


They’ve been doing this act for many years, and there was a hard core of devoted fans in the audience complete with branded tea towels. It’s difficult to explain fully the magic of the Krankys and if you’re not familiar you can catch one or two numbers on Youtube. Sadly, this show is already on the road to Brisbane as I write this, so you’ll need to keep an eye out for their next tour to get the full experience, and I highly recommend you do so.


Kransky Christmas. Supplied: Riverside Theatres


The Kranskys’ personae are three sisters from Esk, in regional Queensland (a real place) who’ve led sheltered and modest lives in that tiny town. They are as a result weirder than the Addams family, but just as joyfully funny. Like three middle-aged but talented Wednesdays, they are multiskilled on a range of instruments: guitar, keyboard, tuba, recorder, tambourine, toilet brush, saucepan and saw – the last of which is eerily accurate. Between the songs, they regale us with tales of their lives in Esk and travels to places like the Texas Queensland Railway Museum (also a real place!) in their Morris.  They are masters of storytelling and gags and go from the sublime to the ridiculous to totally weird in a style that has the audience in stitches.


They are also queens of the incongruous which makes the music and their performances so wonderful. The playlist is a 50-year-journey through rock and pop, and you’ve never heard these songs played like this before. From Get This Party Started, Groove is in the Heart, Bohemian Rhapsody and Can’t Touch This, we move to classic Aussie hits like Thunderstruck and Highway to Hell and Long Way to the Top. When Mourne gets to do a lead break on the recorder during Money That’s What I Want she gives Keith Richards a run for his money. They’re also really clever in the way they arrange and lay out their songs – in Toxic they vocalise where Britney had instruments, and use instruments where Britney had vocals. It throws their talents into sharp relief and shows how they can lift a regular pop song to new heights.


In their quiet, hesitant little voices between songs they poke fun at modern culture, with their permanently puzzled and bewildered faces underlining the absurdities of our contemporary lives.  Though they bicker and squabble themselves, they always come back to each other with love and care, because they look after their little family and keep it together. Even if it means that Uncle Bellamy is buried in their back yard in Esk.

 

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