Shane Dundas and David Collins, better known as The Umbilical Brothers who perform tonight in Ipswich
Shane Dundas and David Collins, better known as The Umbilical Brothers who perform tonight in Ipswich Christian Hagward

Umbilical Brothers love a deadline

THE Umbilical Brothers are coming back to Ipswich, and bringing with them an experience you can't get on a screen at home.

The duo has been performing on stages all over the world, since they first hit TV screens back in the early 1990s doing a routine that came about from their love of martial arts movies.

Today, Shane Dundas and David Collins revel in the fact that audiences still love what do on stage.

"Yes, we started on a TV talent show, in fact I was telling my daughter about it the other night when she was watching Australia's Got Talent,” David said. "Initially we started by winning a stand-up comedy competition, and the prize was a plane ticket to Los Angeles.

"In the audience was a producer from Channel Ten, and he told us about Star Search, which offered a $1000 prize, so we entered so we could buy a second ticket to L.A.

"So we did our five minute routine, the only one we had. We won, and they said 'See you next week', and we said 'What? Nobody told us that'. We found out the show's format was that you had to win each week! Honestly though, it was brilliant, because we wouldn't to this day get anything done if there wasn't a deadline.

"By the time we finished that show we had eight routines, and we were able to start playing live. Now we've performed in 40 countries.”

The pair were both studying in Sydney, and it all began with a martial-arts inspired routine that came about through a love of the genre, and led to audiences laughing with them for almost three decades.

"We've always said The Umbilical Brothers came from three things: Buster Keaton, Warner Brothers and Jackie Chan movies, they were our influences,” David said. "We wouldn't be here without any of those things. When Shane and I were at acting school, every weekend we'd go to Chinatown in Sydney and watch a Jackie Chan movie in the old twin cinema there.

"Jackie Chan movies at that time were done by filming everything, then all the sounds, all the effects, and all the voices were dubbed on afterwards, so we'd go back to acting school and do our own sound effects.

"Silent legend Buster Keaton performed comedy that is not only timeless, but ageless, and there is no language or age barrier to physical comedy. I remember a show we recently did and there was four generations of one family laughing together at one of our shows, and all at the same joke. That's a wonderful thing.”

The Umbilical Brothers are currently performing five different shows around the world, and it is their most popular one, Speed Mouse, that is on tonight at the Ipswich Civic Centre, and will be the result of the show's evolution over time.

"We get most of our work overseas, but when we come home, as soon as someone says 'Oh, are you guys still around?' we know it's time to do a new show!” David said.

"So we will put our heads down, arses up and create something that nobody has seen before. Speed Mouse is the one we get asked to do more than any other. The truth is we do this shows while we are inventing something else, and we are working on a show now with a green screen, and the audience will be watching a cinema screen's freaking awesome. What we're trying to do has never been done before.

"I just love having people coming to see live theatre because you can't get this experience anywhere else. The Speed Mouse DVD has been so popular, but there will be whole new sections of the show that nobody has seen before.

"We can't wait to get to Ipswich again!”

The Umbilical Brothers perform tonight at the Ipswich Civic Centre