The Kransky Sisters are back in Australia after an eccentric tour of the European continent, on which the unbalanced spinsters managed some rest and recuperation before launching into their brand new show Piece of Cake back in their homeland. That’s the fictional back-story at least. Sorry, I didn’t mean to break the forth wall.
Poor Dawn! At one stage of the trip she was found under a tree with her eyelids frozen, clinging to a squirrel. Older sisters Mourne and Eve revel in deriding her as punishment for their uncle (Dawn’s father) shacking up with their mother. Some of the comedy they derive from this dynamic can only be described as deliciously sadistic. It seems the audience doesn’t laugh at Dawn (certainly not with her), but for her. There’s certainly a lot of nervous laughter. It’s a sadistic aesthetic that still manages to achieve significant pathos.
The cherry on top, of course, comes in the form of their unique takes on popular songs that the sisters glean from their old wireless back at home in Esk in Queensland. You’d think such quirky covers would have a used by date, that they be ephemeral and eventually lose their appeal. This is not the case by any standard. The combination of instruments in itself is rather compelling and endearing. From Eve’s musical saw and old reed keyboard, to Dawn’s thundering tuba the Kranskys are a musical powerhouse to be reckoned with. Their voices are quite spectacular too, singing complex harmonies and demonstrating extraordinary range from an eerily low contralto all the way to soaring, almost operatic highs at times.
They began their musical meanderings with Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” before moving on to a song they had heard the Queen singing on the radio a long time ago. Mourne was soon lamenting her episode of unrequited love with Glenn Davies at the egg factory. Apparently he married Charmaine Wilkinson, who’s name Mourne recites with a keen malevolence. She then began admonishing Dawn for her liberal use of the change jar. Once she had extracted all the missing coins from Dawn, Mourne began to meticulously drop the coins back into the jar. This provided a rhythmic accompaniment to what was a slightly twister version of ABBA’s “Money, Money, Money”.
Then some more twisted humour with the sisters reciting some of the favourite punishments that their mother liked to use when they misbehaved. Naturally, there was the wooden spoon, but the most innovative included the mousetrap, or the cheese grater down the back of the ankle as Eve elaborated. Positively medieval to say the least! A song that reminds them of their mother followed this quaint reminiscence of child abuse. Of course it couldn’t have been any other than MC Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This”. It’s songs like this that the Tuba really comes into its own by perfectly emulating the super funky bass lines of the original. I think its probably the Tuba that adds that essential musical element that makes the trio so compelling. There’s simply something about the instrument that makes it simultaneously serious and comic. The sound can only be described as hypnotic. Combine that with some serious musical talent playing some decidedly wacky instrumentation and you have an endless well of musical comedy.
After elaborating on their recent exposure to video game Grand Theft Auto, and subsequent attempts at breaking into a red convertible, they played MiSex’s “Comptuer Games”. Of course, I have to include “Never Gonna Dance Again” and Beyonce’s “All the Single Ladies” in my musical highlights. Some wonderfully whacky tambourine choreography in the latter!
Anyway, I don’t want to give too much away. It’s hard to review a show like this without spilling some of the beans. Let’s just say they solicited a kiss from an audience member and they may or may not have finished with an AC/DC song.