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.