Gavin and Hugh McLean are brothers. But above all else, they’re friends. And above all that again, they’re sleep specialists.
Together they are the designers of the revolutionary McLean Dream Machine©, a device that allows a person to experience their dreams more vividly than ever and have them recorded for future observation.
Creator/performers Jayden Masciulli and Daniel Moore have struck gold with the premise and execution of their eight-episode (so far) podcast. I can’t get enough of improv when performers are encouraged to push their imagination into the weird and whimsical, and this little show is the perfect vehicle for this to happen.
Each episode follows a simple formula by beginning with an informal pre-show chat between Jayden, Daniel and their guests of the week. Following this, the meat of the show kicks off with the McLean brothers characters in their shop being visited by a customer who’s turned up to experience the McLean Dream Machine©. As soon as the client is ushered into the machine, we get to experience their dreams.
The sense of freedom with this stream-of-consciousness approach for the performers is palpable, and a perfect fit to the improv comedy style on display. The ideas, locations, and even characters fluctuate over the course of the episode until the dream ends and the character wakes up. It gets a little crazy at times, but it’s never a bad thing when it does.
Additionally, the inspired sound design that includes effects and audio tricks never overshadows the performances and succeeds in contributing to an immersive experience for the listener.
I’d like to take a moment to add a special shout-out to whoever is responsible for the falsetto in the opening theme. Brilliant stuff!
You may also recognise a voice or two on the huge guest roster that includes:
Aisling McGrogan, Alice Allan, Doug Lyons, Elyce Phillips, Fiannah de Rue, Hayley Tantau, Indiana Kiely, Josh Chodziesner, Lewis Mulholland, Matt Jenner, Millie Holten, Ryan Zorzut, Shane Henry, Simon Hawkings, Simon McCulloch, and Taylor Griffiths.
Both Daniel and Jayden are established writers and performers. Jayden hit my radar as one third of his award-nominated comedy group Hit By A Blimp (tickets for their new show WARP are selling fast!) and I discovered Daniel Moore and this very podcast through his on-point portrayal of the greatest showman that is Hew Jakkman in the second season of Why Are You here? With Dr Karen Debbie Cradle PhD.