AUSTRALIA. Land of kangaroos, barbecues, ex-convicts, aboriginal genocide and now, unexpectedly, hilarious slapstick humour.

David Collins and Shane Dundas, otherwise known as The Umbilical Brothers, met in an acting class at university in Sydney in 1988 when Dave broke Shane’s nose. Clearly a match made in heaven. Since then the “brothers” have developed and, dare we say it, perfected a unique brand of comedy containing elements of slapstick, puppetry, mimicry and audience participation.

Although vaguely scripted, their shows have a strong feeling of improvisation, as can be seen on the many YouTube videos available, as well as their two DVDs Speedmouse and Don’t Explain. A five-minute sketch of them inventing various ways to give each other the finger replete with suggestions from the audience gives a pretty good idea of the wackiness and inventiveness of their live show.

Dundas has said of their routines: “Our show is a series of tangents that we’ve managed to work and string together so that it can hold together. I tend to think about things too much. I worry about different angles, and David kind of goes, ‘This is what has to be done.’ If you intellectualise it too much you stop things from popping up.”

Unlike most comedians with their fully rehearsed sets, The Umbilical Brothers’ love of improvisation keeps the show fresh not only for the audience but for themselves.

Thu 29 April
The Umbilical Brothers
– Heaven by Storm
Alexander Theatre
Bulevardi 23-27, Helsinki

“Every night we perform it’s so different,” says Collins. “Every single one of our shows is in constant evolution. For me, the most fun comes in the spark of the idea; when that happens. And making each other laugh. There’s nothing that’s better than that. Nearly every time is funnier, because we know it’s happened for the first time.”

Guys Chillax