Kate Herbert is theatre reviewer, Herald Sun, Melbourne & formerly for Melbourne Times. Kate is a director & produced playwright (20 plays). Scripts published by Currency Press. She worked as an actor, comedian, improviser & teacher of Acting, Improvisation & Playwriting. Kate is currently Convenor of Professional Writing & Editing, Swinburne University. Read her reviews here or at: www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/arts. NB Explorer Browser doesn't always work on blog.
Thursday, 3 April 2014
Sarah Kendall in Touchdown, April 1, 2013 ***
Melbourne International Comedy Festival Old Met Shop, Melbourne Town Hall, until April 20,
Reviewer: Kate Herbert
Full review also in Herald Sun online. KH
Sassy Sarah’s tale of
Sassy redhead, Sarah Kendall, forces us to relive our school days through
her teen memoir about adolescent angst and winning and losing friends.
Looking like a teen in her jeans and boyish checked shirt, she
energetically describes her experiences as the incompetent player in the girls’
touch football team in her Newcastle school in 1992.
Kendall comically and vividly portrays herself as a 15 year-old loser
extraordinaire: absurdly tall, ginger afro, braces on her teeth, nervous sweats
and unfashionable, untannable skin.
These days, Kendall is youthful, casual, engaging and, with her English
rose skin and golden hair, she would be perfectly cast wearing a Victorian gown
in a British period piece.
She devoted the entire hour to the evolving tale of her friendship with
Abbie, the prettiest girl at school, and with Derek, the sweet, Canadian
exchange student who has no facility for history because he can’t remember
Kendall’s delivery is fast and cheeky, and her comedy arises from the
surrounding characters and the related teenage calamities that elevate the
anxiety level for those who had a hard time at school.
She channels her mother with her weirdly strident voice and hilariously
outdated, 1980s lingo, then gives a wicked portrayal of Miss Perkins, the
permanently hungover librarian who has a Neil Diamond obsession.
We cringe and laugh at the cruel insensitivity of teens when 15 year-old
Kendall bonds with Abbie by graffiti-ing photos in a gruesome library book
about shark attack victims, and we wince when she unwittingly betrays Abbie
with a naive comment after seeing Jaws IV: The Revenge.
She handles with alacrity the jokes that don’t work (It was a problem
with timing, not the gag) and engages the audience with her bouncy and affable
Her depiction of the clumsiness of adolescents, their awkward
interactions and desperate need for friendship and love that makes Kendall’s