Project Description

THWAK Shane Dundas & David Collins aka The Umbilical Brothers in Thwak Off Broadway thwack

Thwak (Off Broadway)

The Australian comedy duo, the Umbilical Brothers, with their evening of physical comedy and self-produced sound effects, made their New York debut in THWAK when it started previews March 4, opened on March 18, and ran until May 9, 1999 at Off-Off Broadway’s Westbeth Theatre Center. THWAK then transferred to Off Broadway’s Minetta Lane Theatre to open on June 6, 1999 and ran for a further 206 performances until January 2, 2000.

Australian writer/performers Shane Dundas and David Collins aka The Umbilical Brothers, served up a subversive funhouse of human animation, skewering pop culture along the way was Directed by Philip W.M. McKinley, Set Design by Bradley J. Mayer, Lighting Design by Josh Monroe and Sound Design by Ray Schilke.

Produced by John Bard ManulisArnold Engelman, Metropolitan Entertainment Group (John Scher & Jeff Rowland) and Liz Heller.  Press Representative Cromarty & Co, and Online Marketing by Toby Simkin.

Inspired by cartoons and the movies, THWAK combines physical feats of agility, remarkably accurate aural imitations, and a healthy dose of humor to create a series of set-ups, each more surreal than the last. Using mime, precision lip-synching, uncanny sound effects, pratfalls, high-speed chases, and hand puppets, the duo soar though a raucous hour and a half of comic mayhem. An invisible dog plays catch with an invisible hand grenade (not to worry, the imaginary dog is unharmed, but cleverly replaced by a fake imaginary dog).

Audiences take an audio tour through the intestinal, pulmonary, and cardiac sounds of Collins’ body and the paranoid turmoil of his brain. A battle with a persistent housefly becomes a kung-fu extravaganza worthy of Jackie Chan. Cowboys lose their mounts and Kermit the Frog gets sautéed for dinner. And somehow, in THWAK’s mad world, it all makes sense.

The lovely and generous Umbilical Brothers (Shane Dundas and David Collins) also helped me re-brand one of my Broadway companies at the Minskoff Theatre.

As Founder and CEO of and  The pioneer in moving the Broadway industry onto the internet. Press branded me as “Toby is the man pushing theatre, kicking and screaming, into cyberspace.” The Broadway theatre supersite Buy Broadway OnlineWhat started in 1989 as a Broadway industry service called ShowCall via dialup BBS for members of the League of American Theatre Producers evolved onto the world wide web in 1993, and shortly after this, the vast majority of Broadway shows (starting with my production of Victor/Victoria) and theatrical organizations followed. Described by Variety Magazine as a “marketing powerhouse“, it was the single largest theatre community in the world with over 180,000 active members. The global theater supersite theatre.comFrom buying official Broadway tickets and souvenirs, providing detailed global show listings, interactive show study & educational guides, live streaming shows and events (including many Opening Nights), industry news from major theatre journalists, pictures and videos, games, messaging directly to Broadway cast’s backstage or even licensing a musical, offered it all in a single, easy-to-use interface to theatregoers across North America and globally. The “Super site of Broadway” became a publicly traded company, prior to my re-branding it as at the Minskoff Theatre.

Off Broadway