REVIEW: Yve Blake in AM I GOOD FRIEND?

A truly delightful performer and a wonderful show

By Bradley Storer

Am I Good Friend? is a show which mines, with hilarious results, the gap between our perception and the reality of how we relate to other people. Compiling graphs, pie charts of ambiguous flavour and anecdotal evidence on how to be a good friend, performer Yve Blake embarks on a pseudo-scientific and fantastical quest for what she calls the ‘golden egg of truth’.

Yve Blake

Greeted at the entrance of The Butterfly Club by Blake’s ‘stage manager’, who hands out iced Vovos whilst dressed in a stylish garbage-bag garment, we are handed small cards and invited to answer a personal question or two to aid Blake’s ‘research’. One quick costume change later and Blake herself appears in a make-shift lab coat and begins to ingratiate herself with the audience.

Over the next hour we are taken on a journey through Blake’s history of spotty behaviour as a friend, relayed through multimedia presentations, lip-synched re-enactments of embarrassing conversations and Skype-d testimonials from her closest friends. Given Blake’s sunny and adorable stage presence, this is actually almost too hard to believe!

Blake is a hurricane of delightful comic energy, bouncing off the walls with bright eyes and a wide sincere smile. Along with her goofy and enthusiastic nature, she is also unafraid to shamelessly plug her awkwardness and short-comings for laughs – her comedic commitment to her own humiliation is hysterically funny. Although her approach to her material is high-octane the show never seems rushed or garbled, her remarkable diction worthy of note considering the speed at which she speaks! Blake has a fantastic gift for interacting with and including her audience, finding many clever (and at one point, truly touching) ways to bring audience members into the show.

The hour-long show flies past, and the conclusion is a communal acknowledgement of all our faults and mistakes as friends to others, Blake ultimately managing to find both pathos and humour in the universal experience of loneliness and being an outsider. Ultimately this is an outstanding show which, much like Blake herself, hides a surprising depth beneath its sunny exterior.

Venue: The Butterfly Club, 204 Bank St, South Melbourne VIC

Date: Tues 18th to Sunday 23rd Dec

Time: Tues, Weds and Sun at 8pm – Thurs, Fri, Sat at 9pm

Tickets: $23 / $20 Conc / $18 Group (8+) / $15 Tues

Online: www.thebutterflyclub.com

Phone: 9690 2000

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