Burton Brothers: 1925 {Melbourne International Comedy Festival} – Comedy Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Roaring Twenties! 1925, a time of great prosperity the world around! The Kaiser had his behind thrashed and there’ll be no more troubles from Germany! We got over the Spanish Flu and we’ll never see an epidemic like that again. Best of all, prohibition ensures that adults will remain sober from now on, only partaking in cocaine just as God intended!

Amongst all this celebration and an economic boom (which shows no sign of stopping!) two men jazz hands their way into the spotlight. Tom and Josh Burton known far and wide as the Burton Brothers! Presenting a night of toe tapping, finger snapping, whip cracking songs combined with their character and sketch work, the duo are the cat’s pyjamas, the dames love them, they’re hitting on all eight, and they’re a real toot. What I’m saying is these guys are REALLY fucking funny.

I was lucky enough to see the Burton Brothers‘ previous show Vegas Residency as part of the 2023 Melbourne Fringe Festival. I also caught them as special guests for another comedic duo’s show (Jon & Jero: Improv Narrated by Comedians). Through both shows, the Burton Brothers have shown their knack for improvisation, their high energy and their chemistry as performers, able to bounce off each other so well, they make it look easy.

So now with 1925, the Burton Brothers bring us their fourth completely original comedy show. Featuring a night of new characters, new songs and new pure hilarity. While Vegas Residency took on the glitz and glamour (and sleaze) of various Las Vegas acts, 1925 satirises our past. How far we’ve come and in many ways, how far we haven’t. With an original opening song ‘It’s All Up From Here’ (which is still stuck in my head) followed by a piano accident… Seriously, you couldn’t walk down the street for falling pianos back then!

Then it’s the two old beans who host The Fizz Bang Hour, the only radio show bringing the truth… sponsored by Camel Cigarettes. These small musical interludes act as the segues between the show’s various comedic skits. The fun then really starts with a military USO-style pep talk by two commanders and their… exotic flashbacks to The Great War. A carnival showing a bumkin in a house of mirrors (and Josh showing us his elasticity!). A freak show where the freaks have escaped and the brothers must find new ones in the audience (A woman wearing PANTS? In 1925!?). Also, a plethora of other sketches best experienced for the first time that I don’t want to spoil.

I absolutely loved the brothers performing as Hollywood stars Dracula and Frankenstein’s Monster as they have a bitchy lunch engagement with each other. Playing up on the antagonism Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff are believed to have had (think Stallone vs Schwarzenegger in the 90s). The two share overpriced breadsticks as they take snide jabs at each other, with moody lighting and sound stingers punctuating the horror, the horror!

The energy these two natural born performers bring out of each other can be felt in the audience’s enthusiastic applause. As the meteoric rise and fall of a Vaudeville act singing about “Tiddlywinks” plays out on stage, the packed crowd at Trades Hall’s Corner Store were rolling in the aisles. Without a doubt, the Burton Brothers are destined for huge things as their profile grows. I’ve seen few acts which generate this much buzz. Before the show, everyone was sitting around me talking about how amazing Vegas Residency was and 1925 met these high expectations!

The Burton Brothers have done it again, creating a new hour of side-splitting performances and gags. Amazing alone and even better together, I can’t wait to see what they come up with next. Don’t be a flat tire! Get on the trolley and see one of the most hotsy-totsy shindigs playing at this year’s Comedy Festival!

Burton Brothers: 1925 is currently playing at Trades Hall‘s Corner Store until 7th of April as part of the 2024 Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
For more information and ticketing, visit:

Photography by Simon McCulloch.

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