Tag: Australian comedy

Review: ANNE EDMONDS with The Quarter Cabbage

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.

Anne Edmonds

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

Bookings: http://www.ticketmaster.com.au, http://www.comedyfestival.com.au, 1300 660 013 or at the door

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REVIEW: Tracy Harvey Smoking’ At The Paris Cat

A new musical in the works is turning up the heat…

By Kim Edwards

Tracy Harvey is a favourite and familiar lady of Australian comedy, but last night it was all about the music.

The intimate confines of the Paris Cat jazz club were bustling with local media and theatre folk as Harvey took to the stage to share some of her previous hilarious compositions and debut some of her latest music theatre songs.

The evening featured repertoire from her first show Call Girl the Musical that premiered in Melbourne in recent years, but also debuted new work from the upcoming and outrageously titled hospital musical Prick.

Harvey with her signature smile and ravishing dress was in exceptional company with Bryce Ives, Laura Burzacott, and the talented Jack Howard leading a superb jazz trio.

It’s a rare pleasure to see director Ives performing on stage himself, and his smooth showman charisma and Burzacott’s ever- stunning voice and understated wit formed a wonderful foil to Harvey’s irrepressible and frantic comic vivacity. Meanwhile, Jack Howard managed a little demure scene-stealing both on the trumpet and with his unexpected solo song ‘Like A Gondolier’.

Ives’ skill at creating atmosphere was in play as usual: the casual, relaxed vibe and unrehearsed patter were completely charming, and this rare sneak peak at a show in development was wonderfully beguiling.

The strength of the songs presented was in their casual Australian vernacular and broad vulgar humour, with plenty of topical and local jokes. Musically and lyrically, there is nothing particularly daring or sophisticated in any of the numbers, and every song seemed to include some extensive word or phrase repetition. However, these are of course works in progress, and the good-natured comedy and appealing energy always made each song highly enjoyable to hear and see performed.

Australia music theatre longs for original local works, and Harvey with her smokin’ hot companions and her flair for distinctly home-bred humour and fun song-writing deserves nothing but admiration and support.

It was exciting to be part of the inception of a new project, and it will be even more exciting to see it fire up into a fully fledged musical in the near future. So keep a look out for more about Harvey’s new show shortly – it’s not like you’re going to forget that title in a hurry.