On 19 September 2017, I was invited along to see the opening night of the 2017 Melbourne Fringe Festival show ‘Woah, Alyssa! 1’, written by Colwyn Buckland and Filip Lescaut. The sketch show stars the two writers alongside Britt Myers.
The three performers were energetic and eye-catching as they took the audience through a smorgasbord of sketches. The show had a loose structure with a number of recurring characters alongside the more left-field sketches. Between the bookends of the ‘Barbara Binks Jr Entertainment & Co’ scenes, ‘Woah, Alyssa! 1’ touched on a range of social issues as well as some lighter topics.
Launching into their opening night of the festival, the performers took a moment or two to find their feet with the respective props. In the 55-minute show, the performers were required to move items around the stage on a regular basis (alongside frequent blackouts). While necessary for certain elements of their sketches, the larger items did not add enough value for the effort involved.
Taking a break from picking on the furniture, the performers Colwyn, Filip and Britt each played their roles well. Colwyn had excellent expressions; Britt, a commanding stage presence; and, Filip who took on an entertaining clowning role, showed off a surprising variety of accents.
The satirical elements were particular highlights of the show. A clever take on a classic cop drama and an entertaining homage to a YouTube montage, drew a good response from the audience and showcased some intelligent writing. Further, the musical number and a small sketch with an Italian flavour received the biggest laughs of the night. These four sketches exemplified the creativity and performance skills of the group.
The above considered, the show overall felt a little disjointed and occasionally lacking punch. The show reminded me at times of a television sketch show with odd characters who have quirky personalities or mannerisms. Unfortunately, the repetitious humour drawn from these characters tired quickly when contained in a single sketch rather than over the course of an edited episode. For ‘Woah, Alyssa! 1’, many of the repetitious sketches missed the mark and did not resonate with the audience.
The ‘Woah, Alyssa!’ team has succeeded in producing a collection of recorded sketches online, which have a growing audience. Check out these videos here to get a flavour of their style and if you like them, check out their live show.
You can see ‘Woah, Alyssa! 1’ from 20 to 24 September at the Hare Hole (Hares and Hyenas). For more information and to book tickets, click here.
For an explanation of Hugging Comedian’s 2017 Melbourne Fringe Festival ‘star rating’ criteria, click here.