Review – Bunny and Mad Dog Get High
Lisa-Skye, the Melbourne writer and comedian behind Bunny and Mad Dog Get High, dresses how I imagine a glam rock pixie would with her emerald shock of hair and furry green leg warmers. In her show she tells us the salacious story of Bunny and Mad Dog, two young lovers who find themselves hurled together in Melbourne in the late Seventies. As Lisa-Skye tells it, this story takes place in a glorious time of flared pants, Roxy Music and “speed so good it made your liver ache”. Whilst some people may not be able to relate to the constant Seventies pop culture references the performance, which is basically a series of humorous anecdotes about the destructive Bunny and Mad Dog, is so sweetly nostalgic that it will win you over.
The story is accentuated by Lisa-Skye’s appearance, and with parakeet-bright make-up on her already expressive face, she seems herself like a character from this acid-swirled fairytale. She is relaxed on stage, and makes good use of the Tuxedo Cat’s intimate performance space. (It always makes me sort of shudder to describe a venue as “intimate”, though the fact remains that I was keenly aware of the left knee of the man next to me for much of the performance.) Lisa-Skye likes to chat with audience members, and throw glitter at them sometimes, which seems like some of the most comfortably informal audience interactions I’ve seen in a long time – no picking on hecklers or front-row unfortunates here.
The simplistic if ballsy title Bunny and Mad Dog Get High belies the deeper concerns of the show. Sure, this is essentially a series of stories about a couple that liked to get high a lot; however, Lisa-Skye seems to be using these stories to hint at the duality of a person’s character and the contradictions that may exist there. There are some areas of the story I found to be patchy and unclear, perhaps in their effort to serve this point, and I found a plot twist towards the end to be particularly puzzling. However, this may have been a failing on my part brought on by the very liberally measured gin and tonic I ingested at the Tuxedo Cat bar pre-show.
But whatever the flaws in Lisa-Skye’s material may be, she more than makes up for in charisma and her unabashed love for the stories she tells.