The Kransky Sisters

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The Kransky Sisters are an Australian musical comedy trio created, written and performed by Annie Lee (Mourne) and Christine Johnston (Eve) in collaboration with Michele Watt (Arva – 2000 til 2006) and Carolyn Johns (Dawn – 2007 onwards).

The three sisters live a very old-fashioned life and travel around in their 1958 Morris Major performing musical covers. These are performed with their own special panache using tuba, guitar, musical saw and a 60s reed keyboard, not to mention a whole host of other bizarre instruments that pop up from time to time like toilet brushes and kitchen pots.[1]

The Kransky Sisters tell off-beat and occasionally macabre stories and accompany these stories with strangely relevant covers of popular songs.

They made regular appearances on In Siberia Tonight on SBS Television, The Sideshow with Paul McDermott on ABC Television and also made guest appearances on Spicks and Specks and Adam Hills Tonight.

Christine Johnston appeared as The Old Woman in Opera Queensland's 2015 staged production of Leonard Bernstein's operetta Candide, directed by Lindy Hume.[2]

Fictional history and backstory[edit]

The Kransky sisters come from Esk, a real rural town in Queensland. The two eldest sisters, Mourne and Eve Kransky, are full biological sisters and have lived together all their lives. Mourne and Eve's father was a travelling salesman for the (fictional) Asbestos Cookware Company. Their mother left their father to be with his brother, who is Arva and Dawn's father. The two brothers have not spoken since and Mourne and Eve ostracise Arva and Dawn, using their guilt over the affair to dominate them.

Arva, who first toured with the family band, has now joined the Hornbell Military Marching Band. Dawn, the youngest sister, has taken leave from her job as trolley librarian at the Esk Hospital and now tours in Arva's place. The sisters wear the same clothes and Mourne and Eve speak with similar mannerisms. Mourne, the eldest, is clearly the matriarch, sternly keeping control of her younger sisters and doing most of the speaking during a concert, while Eve, a vegetarian who harbours secret passions, eerily echoes many of Mourne's phrases, though she has enough independence to occasionally add to Mourne's stories. Arva and Dawn almost never speak.[citation needed]

The songs they play are learnt from listening to the "wireless" and they drive to their concerts in a 1958 Morris Major. Sometimes the songs are incomplete thanks to an interruption in their reception and the sisters, lacking any normal cultural context, often seem not to fully understand what they are singing about.

One of their neighbours has a computer and has made their official website for them.

Instruments[edit]

  • Mourne: vocals, acoustic guitar, reed keyboard, biscuit tin, kitchen pot, tambourine
  • Eve: vocals, musical-saw, reed keyboard, toilet brush, tambourine
  • Arva: tuba, vocals
  • Dawn: tuba, vocals

Awards[edit]

Award nominations[edit]

  • Barry Award – Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2004
  • Triple Nominee Green Room Awards 2004 – Best Cabaret Ensemble; Musical Arrangements; Most Outstanding Show
  • Triple Nominee Green Room Awards 2014 – For their cabaret show 'Piece Of Cake' – Best Cabaret; Writing; Musical Direction

Discography[edit]

  • A Keepsake of Live Excerpts from Mourne, Eve and Arva; excerpts from their We Don't Have Husbands tour in 2005

Tracklisting[edit]

  1. "Love You When" (Kransky Theme)
  2. "Introduction"
  3. "Sunrise Sunset" – original
  4. "The Bakery"
  5. "MJ Medley" – a Michael Jackson medley of "Thriller", "Beat It", "Billie Jean"
  6. "Pix People"
  7. "Sounds of Silence" – Simon & Garfunkel cover
  8. "Arva's Boil"
  9. "Sexual Healing" – Marvin Gaye cover
  10. "Mince"
  11. "Nutbush" – Tina Turner cover
  12. "Overload" – Sugababes cover
  13. "Makeup"
  14. "Pretty Woman" – Roy Orbison cover
  15. "We Will Rock You" – Queen cover

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Kransky Sisters – Piece of Cake", 2015 Melbourne International Comedy Festival
  2. ^ "Candide review (QPAC, Brisbane)" by Alison Cotes, Crikey, 27 Juy 2015

External links[edit]

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