Even after interviewing three of the writer/performers about the show (read it here), it still had a few surprises. For one, it had far more saucy humour than I was expecting. And secondly, the show felt more like a play with sketch elements than a sketch-driven show. Covering Bess County’s efforts to put on the best festival in Australia, the show captured the town’s quirky characters as they traversed the highs and lows of their plans.
While the performers drew a decent reaction from the interlinking narrative pieces that built the story, the most fun was had during the more self-contained sketch elements. These scenes had a good mix of playfulness and the occasional nod to social commentary. Particular favourites included scenes set at a church fundraiser, a radio station and a beauty pageant.
Each of the performers brought something unique to the show. Simon and Fiannah were the strongest performers with a couple of standout scenes; Fiannah’s faux mastication and pensioner flair were particularly eye catching. Elyce and Brendan balanced out the show well with Elyce’s strong stage presence and Brendan’s determination maintaining the show’s momentum. The cast (and director Hayley Tantau) did well to feature Tino after a last minute offshore commitment made him physically unable to attend the show.
‘The First Annual (Doris to insert) Festival’ is good (not so innocent) fun. While the show does not change the way you see the world or tackle anything particularly groundbreaking, it has heart.
Check out ‘The First Annual (Doris to insert) Festival’ from 21 to 23 September 2017 at Club Voltaire. 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.
If you are a comedian, get in touch and we can sit down for an interview to talk about comedy. Or if you have a 2017 Melbourne Fringe Festival show you want to talk about or want reviewed, contact Hugging Comedians on Facebook, Twitter or through the website.