Umbilical Brothers return - but don't bring your kids


March 1-3 and March 16

Illawarra Performing Arts Centre

Tickets: 4224 5999

Do not bring your kids to the latest Umbilical Brothers' show.

While based around the idea that David Collins and Shane Dundas are performing for children, it features explicit language, smoking, sexual references, the maiming of a Brady Bunch member and the beating up of a character who may or may not be a beloved Disney mouse.

"Please, you must listen to the title - it's not suitable for children. We've done it once before and we had a couple of nights where parents thought the title was a joke, but it's not, so they had a lot of explaining to do on the car ride home, I imagine," Collins, the curly haired one, pleads.

A Kids' Show is a little different to other shows Collins and Dundas have put together. Although the pair are known for their combination of movement and sound effects, this performance has only one skit.

Instead, the pair are returning to their acting roots, playing Shavid and Dane, their alter egos who are keen to put on a show for children - only the children don't show up.

The characters don't realise and continue to perform for their more adult audience.

Collins thinks people will be surprised their hearts lie more with acting than with sound effects.

"It's straight up acting and that's what I am, an actor. The Umbilical Brothers is a joy because we get to perform what we create, but acting is where my heart lies," he says.

Much of the material for this performance has come from the pair's experiences working on an actual children's show, the Logie-winning The Upside Down Show, which ran in 2006. There were a number of things they were prevented from doing or saying by the financial backers, so the comedians have decided to poke fun at some of their frustrations.

"There was many times when making that show where we knocked heads with Nickelodeon ... where they wouldn't allow us to do something like jump on the couch, something maybe litigious American mothers wouldn't want us to be doing in front of their kids," Collins says.

"It's a very good venting we're doing on stage right now; it feels really, really good. It's like going to a psychiatrist every night, with all these demons coming out."

With four main shows invented and on rotation since the pair joined up more than two decades ago, Collins says it's great to be working on something new because the initial stages of putting together a show are his favourite.

The Umbilical Brothers return to their acting roots with a new show that is definitely not suitable for children.

The Umbilical Brothers return to their acting roots with a new show that is definitely not suitable for children.

They have only performed A Kids' Show once before, in Sydney earlier this year.

"'It's very fresh, it's very new, so we're changing things night to night, we're chucking stuff out to see what works, what doesn't, what sticks to the wall," he says.

"For me, it's a far more interesting time than when the show is set in stone and we're doing the same show over and over again."


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