By Jaclyn Holland
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from my time in Melbourne, it’s that everyone has a story to tell from an experience using PTV. Whether the situation was funny, gross or downright frustrating, the story is always guaranteed to be entertaining.
That being said, I almost can’t believe no one made this show earlier.
Starring an ordinary group of PTO’s with a disconcerting obsession for fining as many unfortunate souls as possible, Spunk Collective’s sketch comedy Law and Order: PTV portrays a hilarious collection of utterly relatable scenes straight from Melbourne’s public transport system.
With the help of a few quick costume changes and the audience’s willing imagination, the cast of six easily transform into a multitude of personalities we can all recognise from our everyday commutes. From the little old lady who you most graciously sacrifice your seat to, or the person who really should have washed at least once during the previous week, to the poor student fined for not having the right concession card that one time (Yes, this happened to me – and no, I haven’t gotten over it yet) it doesn’t matter how annoying the situation was in real life, when it’s put on stage like this you can’t help but laugh.
It’s not all about PTV though, there were plenty of references back to Law and Order, with the opening of the show presenting a cleverly ironic scene which could have come straight out of the television crime show.
This was followed by a series of sketches based loosely on the PTOs’ quest for money to fund the new Metro Tunnel. While many fines were written and fare evaders interrogated, I wouldn’t say the show boasts of an especially clever or complicated plot.
Rather, the performance excels in its unashamed comedy.
Often the best parts of the performance had nothing to do with the central plot but were instead apparently random scenes with some connection to PTV. For instance, if you’ve ever noticed how the train announcements sound so empty and emotionless, this show will give tell you why.
Furthermore, the cast made excellent use of the limited space available to them. Not once did the performance appear to be restricted by the relatively small stage it was on. Rather, the group used the aisle throughout the audience to make the already relatable content even more immersive.
Sound, lighting and theatre technology was also used to great effect to ensure constant variety. You never really knew what to expect next – one moment there would be a serious (but generally completely ironic) scene using just the space on the stage, and the next the cast would be dancing down the aisle to a party remix of Bob the Builder complete with its own music video and flashing disco lights.
Honestly, I never stopped laughing throughout this show. It’s a comedy designed specifically for anyone who’s ever used PTV – which in Melbourne, that’s pretty much everyone…
I can guarantee though, after watching this show your everyday commute will never be the same again.
Law and Order: PTV, by Spunk Collective, is playing at the Butterfly Club until Saturday August 10. Show starts at 8.30PM and you can purchase student tickets for $31 at: https://thebutterflyclub.com/show/law-order-ptv