Slow Clap is Vachel Spirason and Stephanie Brotchie.
Their (our) first show 'The Hermitude of Angus, Ecstatic' won Best Comedy and the Brisbane Powerhouse Award at the 2010 Melbourne Fringe and Best Comedy at the 2011 Auckland Fringe. We have toured Angus to Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, Auckland, Nelson, London and Edinburgh.
Their (our) new show is called 'Truth', which was Highly Commended for the John Chataway Innovation Award at Adelaide Fringe, Sold Out at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and won Outstanding Comedy at the 2012 Melbourne Fringe. So far we have toured Truth to the SoHo Theatre in London, and Underbelly at the Edinburgh Fringe and in 2013 will be touring to Brisbane and Auckland.
Slow Clap also produce Dr Brown in Australia.
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My night begins in a dark lane. Travelling up three storeys in an old lift, I was ushered into a small, sticky room at the end of a corridor – only to be touched by a man in his underpants flossing. It was clear that I was either in very real and immediate danger, or about to see something completely unique.
Luckily for me, and indeed the near sell-out audience, it was the latter. It’s little surprise that Slow Clap have become such darlings of the Melbourne & Adelaide Fringe Festivals, as this show manages to make stand-up look positively pedestrian. Vachel Spirason plays eight characters throughout Truth, effortlessly shifting between one racial stereotype to a mute boy in a neck brace. Truth makes up for its early lack of laughs with a central performance so physically and mentally captivating that I’m not sure anyone noticed its slow start.
On the flyer for the show, Slow Clap describe their work as ‘physical/character/dance comedy,’ and there’s probably no better way to put it. Spirason manages to weave a central narrative between several dance numbers, the highlight of which is a hilarious mimed figure-skating routine.
The narrative is clever and well-written; it builds suspense early in the show and manages to hold the audience’s attention between all the character and dance shenanigans. What is really surprising about Truthis the attention to detail. Every part of the elaborate and cluttered set is used effectively – the apparently very loose narrative starts to become crystal clear, and for all of its stereotyped characters I somehow came out applauding its intelligence. A word of warning for the front rows though, you may want to prepare for some contact, be that physical, or at one point, violently intimate. It’s almost too obvious to say, but I’ll say it – you’ll never see another show quite like this.