The premise is simple. Three guys, three wheelie-bins and a whole lot of comedic, family-friendly fun. General Waste and his two accomplices demonstrate great commitment to their bumbling, and delightfully clumsy characters, and are frequently rewarded with giggles from their young audience. Even though they have on a little too much make-up to begin with, their enthusiasm and terrific delivery quickly wins over the audience and gets them on board the, ehm... wheelie-bin.
My favourite thing about this show is the fact that it makes palatable a couple of classical and jazz hits to a demographic that is usually more engaged with smart phones and iPad apps. I found the dummies' rendition of "Swan Lake" very funny and endearing. Plus, anything that gets the kids listening to songs like "New York, New York" has me at hello.
Trash Test Dummies offers entertainment for the grown-ups and children alike, though you may have to be a parent, or borrow your friend's kids, to fully appreciate with the show. I found myself disengaging at times due to the slightly overdrawn and repetitive sequences. Which brings me straight to my one great disappointment with this show. Which is, that these guys had a HEAP of talent, but didn't make the most of it. I think too much of their time was spent on slow, slapstick scenes and not enough on things they truly excel at, like circus-style tricks.
They saved their best for close to last. Their juggling number was the only time I found myself on the edge of my seat. I would have loved to see them get more creative with this skill and really take things to the next level. Why not experiment with juggling different objects, or involve the audience in some way? There were indications of great skill in these artists, but no real effort to really develop them within the framework of the show. I would have loved to see them really push to wow, not just entertain their audience.
Having said that, the guys did nail one crucial point without a doubt. Kids love grown ups acting silly, and this may be the silliest, if not the sweatiest show you'll see all Fringe.