Saturday, 14 April 2018

Fanny Bouffante in French Women Do Everything Better, April 12, 2018 ***

Coopers Inn, 282 Exhibition St, Melbourne, until April 22, 2018
Stars: *** 
Australian act
Reviewer: Kate Herbert

Review also published in Herald Sun online on Fri April 13, 2018. KH
Fanny Bouffante believes totally, completely and modestly in the superiority of the French woman's innate and unquestionable ability to do everything better than, well, everyone else, particularly Australians.

Fanny, the alter ego of Kate Hanley Corley, is the mistress of style when she arrives prancing jauntily through the audience, wearing a chic mini dress under an elegant, little Chanel jacket.

On stage, she poses and pouts, wiggles saucily and dances provocatively, all the while instructing the Aussies in Fashion, Food and Sex. Fanny identifies as a style icon, and her style Bible is her own book, French Women Do Everything Better, with each chapter providing more bizarre advice to the hapless Aussie.

It is refreshing to see some character-based comedy instead of stand-up, and there are some very funny moments, and some sassy and outrageous advice in Fanny’s routine.

Fanny sings several goofy, original songs (composer Emma Hart) from her album, My Fanny Sings, each with the flavour of La Belle France, including accordions, lilting tunes and silly lyrics about – you guessed it – food, fashion and sex.

She accompanies her smart and sassy lecture with large screen projections of – you guessed it again – food, fashion and sex!

Evidently, Australian women fail on all counts of style and beauty, while our men need flirting lessons, which Fanny is only too willing to provide.

A few jokes get lost when the tag lines rush by too quickly, while others seem like filler that could be trimmed, but Fanny is at her liveliest and funniest when responding to the audience, and, when she loosens up and lets her material relax, the character comes to life.

By Kate Herbert

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