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.
Saturday, 1 April 2017
Jenny Eclair, March 31, 2017 ****
Melbourne International Comedy Festival Jenny Eclair in How To Be A Middle Aged Woman (Without
Going Insane) International act (UK) At Fairfax Studio, Arts Centre Melbourne until April 23, 2017 Stars: **** Reviewer: Kate Herbert
Review also published in Herald Sun Arts online on April 1, 2017
Jenny Eclair pounds around the stage like a menopausal
storm trooper in her show, How To Be A Middle Aged Woman (Without Going Insane).
When she says she’s hot, she means in a sticky,
sweaty, hot-flushed way, not in the sexy, sassy, I-look-great-in-a-bikini way.
To a chorus of audience hoots and gasps, Eclair
bustles on stage wearing only her skimpies: a slightly saggy, white bra and
black, snug-fitting knickers with lacy bits. (That’s no spoiler as she wears
precisely this outfit in her poster.)
For one hour, in her audacious, outrageous and shameless way, Eclair scuttles about, grimacing and growling about the
horrors of middle age and, more specifically, the disaster that is menopause.
The 57-year old Eclair
may be bemoaning her scaly, flabby, sweaty, slovenly condition, but she cleverly
integrates merciless attacks on some pet subjects that include ‘Poor Madonna’ (who’s
a year older than Eclair) and her Cuban boy-lovers, Simon Cowell, and the
impossibility of wearing jeans at 57.
She peppers her
hilariously wicked tales of womanly woe with rude
language, risqué topics, references to bodily functions and private bits, all
delivered with a belligerent feistiness that is simultaneously alarming and
This is identification
comedy that draws a crowd of women of a certain age who squeal or howl as they
recognise themselves in Eclair’s startling anecdotes about old people’s drugs,
supermarket blues, losing the fighting against cellulite and giving in to
Eclair’s a wonderfully wild child with a wild past and, by the looks of
it, an even wilder future.