Comedy with a side of veggies
By Myron My
For three years now local comedy favourite Anne Edmonds has performed stand-up at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. This year, she has gone for a character-driven piece with The Quarter Cabbage where she presents a one-woman play about four strangers who are connected by a single cabbage.
We are in a fruit shop – not a room at the comedy festival – and Tony the unseen owner, is visited by four distinct characters; old and slightly senile John Watts, new-age organic-obsessed Justice, ‘Mental Health’ personified, and Rebecca, a young woman with dream of being on X-Factor. Each purchases a quarter cabbage and as they do, we are given an insight into their varied lives as they talk to Tony.
Whilst Edmonds is backstage getting changed into the next character, we hear a variety of comic phone conversations John makes to various customer service companies with hilarious complaints and ludicrous demands, such as threatening to switch from Yarra Trams to their rival – trains. These calls had everyone in stitches and kept the energy of the show going without Edmonds’ physical presence.
There were some nerves the night I attended early in the season, and a few things not going to plan – like a banjo not tuned – but Edmonds allowed these things to come into the show, acknowledged them, fixed them and moved on quite calmly.
Edmonds has done a great job in creating strongly fleshed-out characters within a very short time frame. The nuances and mannerisms of these characters are well thought-out and the fifteen minutes per character go by so quickly that you are left wanting more. My only problem was the inclusion of Mental Health – even though it was still funny, I feel with this persona we lost the appealing normality and mundaneness of the stories from the other three characters.
Edmonds’ MICF show The Quarter Cabbage is full of laughs and fun that will leave you wondering where the other ¾ of your own cabbage is going. I warmly recommend it, and give it 4 and ¼ cabbages.
Venue: The Lunch Room, Melbourne Town Hall. Cnr Swanston & Collins Sts, Melbourne
Season: Until 21 April | Tues-Sat 8:30pm, Sun 7:30pm
Tickets: $26 Full | $24 Concession