Blake Everett and Oliver Coleman’s Dig Their Own Graves is what it says on the label. The pair are shovel salesmen brothers who have a hit on their lives because they got a Russian mafia boss’s shovel order wrong; out by one shovel. So, they are hiding in an obscure festival venue by making a show about two shovel salesman brothers making a show about hiding from a Russian mobster who is trying to kill them.
Clear? Surprisingly, yes. For a show that feels like they are winging it, Coleman and Everett are in precise control of their stupid-smart stupidity. It doesn’t take long for you to accept that God and Ice-T are characters in this show (dressed by Coleman’s atrociously bad cardboard artistry) or that the ideal place for a scene about brotherly love is an Italian disco, with accents dodgier than a 1970’s Aussie sitcom about Italians.
Coleman’s first solo show, Poolside, was nominated for awards and Everett is recognised as Frobert from Neal Portenza’s award-winning bonkers-genius show about bilge pumps. Everett is also putting every comedy critic to shame by seeing and tweeting about 90 shows – at least that was the count at the time this review was published. If you want to become the best at what you do, see everything. There are references to other comedians in this show, but it’s difficult to compare them to anyone because their voices are so original that they could only be Everett and Coleman.
Dig Their Own Graves is somewhat indescribable as it twists back on itself so many times that I’m not sure if I’m really out of the show, still with them on their drive to the airport, or looking behind me for another final punch line.
The joyous takeaway of this year’s MICF is seeing so many local indie shows sell out. Without telly-famous international acts to see, comedy fans have taken risks and seen performers they didn’t know. And as they discover the endless originality of Melbourne’s indie comedians – like Blake and Everett – let’s hope that they leave with new must-see favourites.