The Travelling Sisters are three thespian comedians who hail from rural Queensland and have been touring together since 2014. Toupé marks their second visit to the Adelaide Fringe, and with it they bring a completely fresh suite of sketch comedy to the Royal Croquet Club.
The sketch-work itself is vibrant and fun. The Travelling Sisters perform most of their wardrobe changes on stage, disappearing into imaginative, vivid, fully-realised characters, from cockney conspirateurs and talent-show lollipop ladies, to enthusiastic body-positivity hillbillies and a lovelorn, tap-dancing cactus.
The set-ups are suitably outrageous and the punchlines consistently find their mark, but much of the comedy comes from how lovingly The Travelling Sisters render their creations. In each grotesque caricature they perform, they find something vulnerable, resilient or triumphant to share with the audience.
There's no shortage of audio snafus, technical errors and wardrobe malfunctions on opening night, but the performers inhabit their characters so perfectly, in voice and personality, that they were able to turn every mishap into a laugh.
Toupé is a solid hour of silly, surreal sketch comedy with an underlying message about the importance of body positivity and self-acceptance.