Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Miss (You) Melbourne, Female Comics, June 19, 2007

Miss (You) Melbourne
Where and When: Trades Hall, June 19 to 30, 2007
Reviewer: Kate Herbert on June 19, 2007

Miss (You) Melbourne is a season of female comics talking about Melbourne. One of the women laughed so hard that she went into labour and had to be replaced.

Tanya Losanno, a second generation Italo-Australian, got laughs from comparing her childhood in the cultural wasteland of Canberra with her adopted multicultural home in Coburg, land of the Muslim Bogan and “enviable crime statistics”.

Sandy Gandhi is an eccentric Indian character comic who hails from Byron Bay, home of all things hippy and feral. She looks like an Indian stereotype, dressed in traditional colour and speaking with a lilt. However, Sandy’s humour is dry, cynical and well observed. Much of her material is about dope smoking, coastal hippies or being dark-skinned in a white culture. But it is her totally outrageous jokes about Egypt and the shock of an occasional expletive interrupting her well-modulated accent that make her a treat. Her list of instructions from an Egyptian Viagra packet is hilarious.

Celia Pacquola, in jeans and T-shirt, is a perky young gal who finds plenty of comic material from her experiences in a girls high school and a pretentious drama school. Her impersonation of an incoherent drama tutor sounds uncannily like a former Dean of our major Drama School. Pacquolo’s set is lively and incorporates theatrical routines and characters rather than simply gags. She has clever routines about Melbourne’s bipolar weather and those cartoon seals that appear in adverts.

Ethel Chop (Andrea Powell) is a conceited, old woman with smudged lipstick, bad hair, the articulation of someone with loose, false teeth and a line in audience insults that would make Edna Everage pale. She talks about tripe and ox-tongue, stupid road signs and her seductive attributes. Ethel is not a comfortable character to watch and is often thoroughly unpleasant.

Last on the bill was Judith Lucy, a consummate comic who happily airs her dirty laundry. Her recollections of her salacious life in Melbourne 20 years ago are an object lesson in how not to lead your life if you want to live to 40. Melbourne corrupted the virginal young Lucy when she moved here and discovered drugs, alcohol, sex and comedy. Mouths dropped as she recounted tales of her decadent lifestyle, slatternly housekeeping, boozing, smoking, pashing and even being mistaken for a transvestite.

Five comediennes perform each night and the women are funny. 

By Kate Herbert

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