Tag: banjo-playing

Review: WORD CRIME with Alice Fraser

Trying to find the right words

By Myron My

Alice Fraser’s Word Crime is part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and in it she looks at language and how we use them to shape the world yet despite this rich resource for comedy there was ultimately very little present in this act. Fraser spent most of the time offering social commentary on how women are seen in society and about the violence that is sweeping America.

Word Crime

There were awkward moments in this show and I would like to put it down to preview night nerves but some of the material that was covered seemed inappropriate in such a setting. Death can be funny but trying to bring humour into topics such as suicide and her mother’s terminal suffering of MS is a very difficult thing to do especially when there is a room full of people who haven’t been warmed into your brand of comedy. There were jokes that were bordering on racist, and references to World War 2 that just didn’t work and made it difficult to connect with the performer.

There were many times that Fraser said how important words were for her as a child and how her mother would speak many languages and read poetry but unfortunately she never went further with this. The flow of delivery was a bit abrupt and we kept re-visiting topics that seemed out of place after what we had just been discussing.

Fraser seemed quite nervous on stage which is understandable for a preview, but perhaps more rehearsing was needed as she often began talking about something that was very personal, but paused, apparently remembering lines or thinking about what she was going to say next. A few times, Fraser even dismissed the attempt and went on to talk about something else.

Fraser was at her strongest when singing and playing the banjo so it’s a shame there wasn’t more of this. Her lyrics were charming and her song about being the best stalker in the land was actually quite sweet…in a stalker kind of way.

Overall, Word Crime is a concept of great potential doesn’t quite come together this time.

Venue: The Butterfly Club, 256 Collins St (entry via Carson Place), Melbourne

Season: Until 17 April | Tues-Wed, 6:00pm

Tickets: $18 Full | $14 Concession

Bookings: www.butterflyclub.com, 1300 660 013 or at the door

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Review: ANNE EDMONDS in Ever Since the Dawn of Anne

A side-splitting night of songs, sin, Maccas mayhem and banjo-playing

By Maxine Montgomery

In Ever Since the Dawn of Anne, Anne Edmonds attempts to cover everything she’s ever done wrong. Before the show, I noticed on three sticks (or are they canes?) in a cylindrical vessel on the stage. In the front row, a fellow audience member gestured towards the stage and was heard to say, “She’s evil”. Were we all about to receive a good beating?

What the audience did receive was a highlights tour through Anne’s various crimes and misdemeanours – cigarettes, beer, vodka, hangover recovery, desperate attempts to get a man’s interest, driving disasters and more. Opening the show with an original title track, Anne immediately had the audience on side.

It would be hard to conceive of a person who would not be drawn in by Anne singing the line “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned” – a line she follows up with an inane yet winning smile. It was a fabulous through-line to the show to hear this main theme on piano as a recurring bookend to each new story.

Following the opening song, Anne walked us through two long stories of wrong doings from early in her life. Some performers attempting extended sections of dialogue that aren’t broken up by songs may struggle to keep an audience engaged, but Anne’s inimitable delivery – the right mix of charm & self-deprecation – had me totally absorbed, and fascinated to see what was going to be the next thing to come out of her mouth.

My favourite moment in the show was Anne announcing that the next confession to be so shocking that it had to be told in song – a morning-after-the-night-before trip to the local Maccas drive-thru which ended in the most horrifyingly expensive scenario imaginable! I have to say I laughed till I cried.

Anne’s partner-in-crime is her accompanist, Amy Bennett. Amy’s piano expertise is most evident, and it was wonderful to see their collaboration, with Amy so competently providing harmony vocals to Anne’s melodies.

For a highly amusing evening with this pelvis-thrusting, banjo-playing troublemaker, get along to Anne’s second and final show tonight for the Melbourne Cabaret Festival, Thursday July 21st at 6:30pm in the Lamond Room, South Melbourne Town Hall. Tickets available at melbournecabaret.com or by calling 1300 640 801, or visit the festival box office located outside the South Melbourne Town Hall.