Travelling thousands of kilometres from Esk, Queensland, in their 1958 Morris Major, the Kransky sisters shared their Christmas festivities (which, until recently, have been a clandestine affair) with the patrons of Perth. Aptly described as “like watching a witches coven at band practice” A Very Kransky Christmas is a hilarious blend of macabre anecdotes and musical ingenuity.
I had the pleasure of chatting to Mourne Kransky about her unbelievable rise to fame (comparable to the Kardashians) alongside sisters Eve and Dawn—characters brought into existence by the enigmatic talents of Annie Lee, Christine Johnston and Carolyn Johns respectively—ahead of their Christmas performance at the State Theatre Centre last week. Mourne told—or rather warned—me about what I could expect of their Yuletide celebration; but, as it happens, nothing can prepare one for the Kransky sisters.
Photographed memories were presented on a screen to establish the peculiar spinster’s origins, and chesty chuckles foreshadowed an evening of tear-inducing laughter. Framed by a minimalistic set, the arrival of the sisters—with their red neck ties, polka dot blouses, ankle-length skirts, and severe black bangs—was arresting.
Mourne informed the audience how joyed she and her sisters were to be in Perth; having already visited our infamous cactus, they were excited to find out what else the city had to offer. Concurrently, Eve eerily parroted Mourne, while Dawn, their half-but-wholly-resented-sister, remained utterly silent.
Perhaps unsound in theory, in practice this show is wonderfully efficacious. If their comedic abilities can be measured by the laughter they elicited from the Perthians in attendance on Friday evening, they were a roaring success.
The sisters are prodigies of a variety of instruments, including the guitar, reed keyboard, tuba, musical saw (which combines a carpenter’s saw and a violin bow), and tambourine. But the sisters also make use of a number of household items—including a kitchen pot, a toilet brush and a rice shaker.
Their unusual instruments complement their eclectic taste in music. Aside from a couple of original tracks—that will make you snort with laughter, leave you deeply unsettled, or both—the Kransky’s covered a number of their favourite songs, including tracks from: Daft Punk, Abba, Outkast, Lady Gaga, and Nana Mouskouri. There were, of course, Christmas carols in the set, including an intensely upsetting rendition of Santa Clause is Coming to Town.
They married these tunes seamlessly with the narrative aspect of their performance. From their family history—which includes Mourne and Eve’s mother cheating on their father with their uncle and delivering Dawn—to their experiences in Esk with a myriad of colourful characters, each segment came together for a remarkable evening. Towards the end of the two-hour performance the sisters had a number of surprises for the audience, and the laughter rose to cacophonous heights.
Although the bewitching sisters only graced the State Theatre for three evenings, they will be touring Australia and charming audiences again in 2019. Despite our inability to prepare for them, do not forgo an opportunity to see the bizarrely entertaining and entirely unforgettable Kranskys—Australia’s favourite spinsters.
Follow the Kransky’s on Facebook for upcoming tour dates.