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.
Monday, 30 March 2015
Cal Wilson in Undercurrents, 29 March 2015 ***
Swiss Club, until 19 April 2015 Melbourne Comedy Festival
This review also published online in Herald Sun 30 March, 2015. KH
Cal Wilson says that her show title, Undercurrents,
refers to all those secret and peculiar inner thoughts that we never reveal to
the world. Evidently, she has plenty of them.
Two otters and an egg beater (no spoilers)
encapsulate what she sees as her own, eccentric, meandering musings and
she reincorporates those otters at regular intervals to make her
Wilson chatters about her passion for Christmas
and all things Christmassy, particularly since having her child, and
her fervour extends to Santa, reindeers, gift-wrapping and when
to take down a Chrissie tree.
Her son's antics and childish idiosyncrasies provide
lots of material but she misses what seems a golden opportunity to get laughs
from the thoroughly modern, inner-city hipster names of her son, Digby, and his
Wilson mines more material from her hobby
of relentlessly but playfully tormenting her unflappable husband with
grotesque seductions or a mind-blowingly annoying, shrill voice she uses to
drive him (and us) insane.
She makes an error of comedy judgment with her
suggestion, or more accurately, her accusation that Australians are racists. If
you are bagging Australians, you had better produce some really funny material
about it or it just sounds unpleasant.
Her audience interaction is gentle as she invites
suggestions of quirky, Australian turns of phrase that she has never heard
before, including Australianisms such as "clacker" or "Flat
out like a lizard drinking."
However, her requests for examples of new and sexier
words for female genitalia dragged on too long.
Wilson's cheerful, charming demeanour
and mischievous smile compensate for some weaknesses in her
comic material and the structure of her show.