The Umbilical Brothers: “The Distraction” at Edinburgh Fringe 2023

**** (out of 5)

The Umbilical Brothers are Australians David Collins and Shane Dundas, who’ve performed together as a duo since 1988. I spoke with them for my podcast back in 2017.

A generation ago a two-hander live sketch show could be clever, physical, even both. These fellas are that, but now with green screens, a half-dozen cameras, and a digital guru onstage with then as their Bonus Jonas, it’s now more about how the duo reacts to what’s on camera as to us in the room. Although they’ll also do both, and it’s so fast-paced that much of the comedy comes from them trying to keep up, or when they decide not to and go off script. Not sure why so many families brought small children the afternoon I attended. But it won’t stop these big babies from saying and doing what they will, sometimes even when they’re not the biggest baby onstage or onscreen.

Umbilical Brothers: The Distraction runs through Aug. 28 at Assembly Roxy Central

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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