Category Archives: comedy

MICF 2019: Fringe Wives Club – Glittergrass

Featuring Tessa Waters, Victoria Falconer, Laura Frew, Sharnema Nougar, Lucy Evans
Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2019
The Malthouse, Friday 19th April 2019

I have had an experience with feminist cabaret before and come off second best, but I wanted to give this show a chance as I have enjoyed seeing Tessa Waters perform in the past and heard a lot about the Fringe Wives Club but have never had the chance to see them.

I did try and get permission to take photos of the show, but they did not know me plus I don’t think the venue allows it. Was good to just see them and Andrew McLelland straight before them also.

As the saying goes “you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar” I was actually more interested in this show from the musical style as I already follow a lot of bluegrass style music and bands in general. Having good songs and comedy does help deliver the message.

Every member of the group plays multiple instruments and they all have radio microphones, which led to some fun situations like climbing onto the audience and sitting on someone’s lap.

Due to scheduling conflicts one of the cast members finished another show 15 minutes before this one starts and turns up a bit after show starts in the audience to start her part of the show.

I did enjoy the music and think they should also play at music festivals alongside fringe and comedy festival appearances. Barry Morgan had one of his first appearances down at the Queenscliff Music Festival when he was first working out his act and the Vue Grand would be perfect for them.

The “privilege bucket” was passed around stage to every member of the band. Kind of a moot point when just living in Australia makes everyone better off than 95% of the world’s population as it is.

There were some strong original songs and covers in the show and a great medley at the start. Lots of dancing and Rowena does some great high kicks and the splits at one point.

I enjoyed the songs enough to ask in the foyer if they had an album for sale. They said they will hopefully record some of them later and that they have an album for sale on their Bandcamp – https://fringewivesclub.bandcamp.com/

This show has nearly finished its’ run but will hopefully be going over to Edinburgh and other shows after that. I will try and keep up with the group and the performers to see what they get up to in the future.

MICF 2019: Isabella Valette – How Far I’ll Go

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2019

Tuesday 16th April 2019, Tasma Place

I have known Isabella for 10 years now and when I first met her she was getting fake blood poured over her head for a photo shoot to promote a Lee Gambin horror movie musical where she played Carrie. She seemed remarkably cheerful about it considering how cold the blood was and having to walk home barefoot with bits of glass on the ground. From what I remember of that show it had a whole of musical theatre performers in it I had not heard of before.

Isabella has a funny face that makes it hard to take her seriously even when she is doing something dramatic like on her promo reels. It always looks like she wants to smile. No, there is no critical distance in this review but I never said there would be. I am kicking myself I did not do those promo shoots like she asked now but I was busy at the time.

Over the years I have tried to see her shows but I always have gigs on and comedy festival time always falls when I am out of contract so I miss everything.

I had seen photos of Isabella in her clown makeup but didn’t think much of it as I know a lot of people in the entertainment industry who have all sorts of jobs. The show’s ethos can be summed up by the famous letter from Teller to an aspiring musician about working in the entertainment industry (https://www.themodernrogue.com/articles/2018/3/21/the-letter-from-teller-that-changed-my-life) that in order to make it you have to take any job and don’t give up.

The show starts with Isabella appearing on stage just having performed at a kids’ party as a mermaid and then off to another one as Penny the Clown *smacks butt*. We follow her preparing for the party and go into the backstory of how she became a clown. Everything is going fine until she accepts one last job for the day and we know what that means…

A fun and family friendly show for people who like a good story to go along with their jokes. I have been looking for something more than the usual stand up and am a big fan of shows like Snap Judgement and did used to take photos at a poetry competition over several years.

Isabella is also doing other stand up during the festival and features in the group Impromptunes who have their own run at the festival. The last time I saw her it was for an improvised puppet musical. She has lots of energy and enthusiasm in her show and does several songs and dancing.

I did like the screen with the props and costumes behind it where she gets changed and then eventually drops all pretence and gets changed on the stage in front of the audience by the end as you know her well enough by then.

The show still has a few more nights left and I was glad to have seen Isabella perform this time and wish her well into the future.