Blue Mountains Theatre, November 23


kransky res
Dawn, Mourne and Eve get excited at the idea of being reviewed. Photo supplied.

Until the Kransky Sisters intrepidly set out to discover the bit of Australia that wasn’t Esk, no one had heard of their home town (near Ipswich), other than the few sober Eskys. But while Mourne, Eve and Dawn can lay claiming to putting Esk on the map, they fail to acknowledge the crucial role played by the Esk Conservatoire.

Such a corrugated-tin institution must exist, or how could Eve (musical saw) and Dawn (tuba) have become such virtuosos? Then there’s their spiralling three-part vocal harmonies, tin-pot percussion, pink plastic keyboard and Mourne’s guitar playing.

Most people mistake the Kransky Sisters for a comedy act, which I can tell hurts them. They’ve foregone intimate relationships (except with each other) in order to master their instruments, they crisscross Australia (leaving a trail of roadkill behind their ancient red Morris), and all people do is laugh at them. Where’s the respect that Annie Lee (Mourne), Christine Johnston (Eve) and Carolyn Johns (Dawn) deserve?

Isn’t the reason they tour obvious? They want love. Probably Esk is devoid of men (other than the odd inebriated tuba professor). That’s why they plucked David and Warren from the audience to become honorary Kranskys (with black wigs et al), and why the sisters’ hands loitered longer than was proper on this male flesh; why the look of yearning lingered on Mourne and Eve’s flushed faces after the men departed the stage.

Dawn registered no such lust. But when you live in a laundry and play the tuba, you have much bigger problems than sexual satisfaction.

Only the Kranskys could mutate Santa Klaus Is Coming to Town into a Gothic anthem. Only they’d think of singing The Sounds of Silence outside the bedroom door of their Airbnb guests, to disguise the noises emanating from within. Only Mourne could have bathed the Band-Aids off her carbuncles in an indoor inflatable pool, not knowing it was about to be used to give birth. But then such artistes live in a rarefied world.