Some sounds resonate deep down inside:- The squeal of kids running down a sandhill; Act 1 of ‘ Billy Budd’ in the hands of a skilled male chorus; the explosion of women’s laughter after a ‘did she really say that’ pause. Tonight’s FROCKING HILARIOUS belonged to the last choice. The Enmore was the venue for the show in aid of ACT!ONAID as part of the 11th Annual Sydney Comedy Festival.
As MC, Fiona O’Loughlin’s bumbling ineptitude was comedy of the moment perfectly placed. And her timing, in putting herself down for it, was, as she said, better that her mother’s. Well. All of our mothers really. And therein lies the power.
Over the days leading up to the show I asked a few female friends. Why women? Why funny women? Why only women? The answers were about honesty and the topics which could be discussed. Childbirth, sex, appearance and how we women speak differently about that in different situations. Essentially it boiled down to freedom, to express and to vent. I’ll add one more from my own experience. To share without judgement.
Denise Scott was great. She is wise and accomplished and a brilliant humourist . And old. Awesome! My friend and I turned to each other and smiled, ‘Denise is talking to us’. After the show, our younger companion went, ‘Is this what is in store for me?’. My aging friend was suitably solicitous. Such things as inter-generational bonding over pubic hair.
There were lots and lots of jokes like that. Sex and childbirth were themes as was being a mum, for good or ill. Beauty and appearance were right up the top of the agenda. And on that topic, I just ask have to ask how Gretel Killeen managed to find those earrings to match with that particular orange shade of her shoes?
That fashion question aside, Gretel says herself that she is no stand up comic. But she is a classic comedic storyteller and her list of the famous people she has been mistaken for was a masterclass in the use of silence and the falling inflection.
Jackie Loeb did some advanced showing off with her guitar before stealing lyrics from every other singer she could think of.
Susie Youssef extemporised a palm read with Adam from the front row. Poor Adam, he copped it from everyone else then.
There were few brave male souls who were good humouredly used as props. My favourite was woman-to-watch, up and comer, Penny Greenhalgh who did an ice skate on roller blades using a pink shirted volunteer as Dean to her Torvald. Just hilarious.
Some artists missed the mark but no one there missed the point of the show. The artists all donated their time and material to support ACT!ONAID which is global movement of people working together to further human rights and defeat poverty for all. Women’s Rights are the key focus of Act!ionaid Australia. More about this organization can be found at actionaid.org/Australia.
Carol, the charming representative of ACT!ONAID joined Fiona onstage to draw the raffle at the end of the show. It was then that our MC let the performer Improv Fee off the leash. She was side splitting and what a great finale. That sound rumbling through the venue. I loved it.
FROCKING HILARIOUS played at the Enmore Theatre for one night only as part of the 11th Annual Sydney Comedy Festival.
For more about Frocking Hilarious, visit http://www.sydneycomedyfest.com.au/single-event?show_id=980