The Umbilical Brothers are an Australian comedy duo, David Collins And Shane Dundas. Theus performances combine puppetry, slapstick and mimicry with ordinary dialogue, vocal sound effects and audience participation.
1988 they met in first year of acting school at the University of Western Sydney and began writing their first routines forming The Umbilical Brothers in response to the boredom of mime class.
In 1991 David & Shane created and performed “Two Coats and a Hatstand from Hell”, The Umbilical Brothers’ first ” professional” theatre experience. Then, they started to perform on a series of “stand-up” gigs, TV appearances and comedy tours around Australia.
Their 1994 follow-up, Don’t Explain, toured Australia, Spain, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Canada, while 1995′s Heaven By Storm won a Critic’s Choice Award and a Perrier nomination at the Edinburgh Festival and spent a season in London’s West End.
Other honors include five Australian “MO” Awards for Best Comedy Group; Germany’s United Slapstick Award; and appearances on The Tonight Show, Late Night With David Letterman and The American Comedy Awards. They are also credited with the vocalizations on the animated children’s show Maisy and in 1999 they were selected as two of the “100 Most Creative People in Entertainment” by Entertainment Weekly.
The show is described as a chock-full of internationally tested comedy in which you’ll see and hear everything on a stage full of nothing.
When asked to explain a little about the show the Brothers simply laughed and referred to the title. Upon further investigation we found out that the show was an uncontrollable, independent entity, not understood even by its creators.
David Umbilical explains: “Its success at the ’94 Edinburgh Fringe really went to its head, and then after the London Mime Festival it started hanging around with some of the bigger shows, like ‘Cats’.”
Shane Umbilical: “We invented a new show for Edinburgh ’95, which drove ‘Don’t Explain’ over the edge. We’ve stuck with it and after a few more therapy sessions it should be ready to come back out of the box.”
“Don’t Explain is a rollercoaster ride to the surreal and frenetic other-world of chaotic comedy.”