The Vagabond – The Garden of Unearthly Delights
6:30pm nightly.

Let me start by saying this show has RAVING 5 star reviews from several outlets and publications. It also had a crowd full of adoring, laughing, clapping happy fans. Fans who have probably been fans for years and years, I unfortunately haven’t been that person, so this show was a little lost on me.

It started with a pretty significant technical problem (and a very low microphone level so it was hard to even follow and understand what was happening). The tech issue resulted in some unplanned audience banter from ‘the brothers’ which was rather benign and uninspiring. Once the tech issues were resolved, the show begun.

The show is comprised using a series of props, cameras and green screen wherein ‘the brothers’ are implanted into different scenarios and backgrounds with the final result beamed onto a giant screen in the middle of the room. You’ll see the Umbilical Brothers floating cleverly and hilariously through space and using countless props as well as their own bodies to give the effect they’re in varied situations.

There’s (prop) babies being booted across a football stadium, TV press conferences, a giant baby terrorising a small town, audience members heads exploding and more insane sketches that’ll have you either belly laughing, or thinking ‘when will this end’. Maybe I just don’t enjoy fun or get comedy?

Some of these crafted scenes – which the pair, David Collins and Shane Dundas work very hard to create – hit the mark and some didn’t hit at all. It’s undeniably clever from a technical and creative point of view, thanks mostly to the handy work of their video technician Doug Bayne who I can only imagine is feverishly pushing buttons to make it all happen behind his laptop on-stage.

The rapturous audience applause and delight would lead one to believe most people in the audience thoroughly enjoyed this performance and perhaps they’re long-term fans of the pair. Personally I struggled to enjoy this as everyone else did – but that’s NOT a reason not to support this show during the Adelaide Fringe.


Maybe it’s generational, maybe it was too smart for me, maybe it was just average.

3 stars

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