The Sandman & Flacco Tribute Show (All Original Cast!)
I choose to start this review… now. Some say only the good die young. Quite tragically, we lost Aussie comedy greats The Sandman & Flacco to the dreaded disease of irrelevance near ten years ago. Now Steve Abbott and Paul Livingston have made their way to Perth to pay tribute to our fallen heroes. It seems almost eerily fortunate that the men on stage can channel these characters so well but surely that’s just the luck of the draw.
Whether you avidly watched the original run of Good News Week, or tuned into the J’s purely to hear long-running serial 204 Bell Street, you’ll quite likely know what to expect from this show. Sandy and Flacco (sorry, Abbot and Livingston) perform many of the classics from way back, from linguistic letters to the man above to sorrowful ballads of lost love. Sometimes updated with fresh political references as per the satirical wine drinking sketch, other times exactly as you’d remember (Sandy’s pterodactyl screech will remain immortal). Often accompanied by Flacco’s fluid guitar playing, the show is surprisingly musical and every bit better for it.
The show also contains a sweetly heartfelt core as both Sandman and Flacco perform readings in tribute to their mothers. We learn of Flacco’s mother’s work during wartime and Sandman’s deeply held secrets. It’s clear the influence these powerful women have had and is the most revealing section of this more often light-hearted evening.
Sure, you could level a charge that this isn’t the most ground-breaking Fringe show… but these two are comedy legends for a reason. Their art stands the test of time and remains just as brilliantly dry and absurd as it always was. It’s still a cruel world but we’re all the better with Abbott and Livingston in it.
Flacco and Sandman are dead. Long live Flacco and Sandman.