Miriam and the Monkfish: A Live Cooking Show!Miriam (Sophie Kelly) is under pressure, she has to cook a five-course meal in order to impress her husband’s Japanese clients, in the hope that they will invest in her husband’s newest property development. The problem is Miriam, being the socialite wife, has never once set foot in her own kitchen; she’s always had ‘someone’ to do the cooking for her. And so over the course of the performance we watch as Miriam struggles valiantly to create a few culinary masterpieces for the evening’s meal.

Miriam and the Monkfish is a one-woman show and Sophie Kelly completely inhabits Miriam, creating this eccentric character through her vocal inflections, mannerisms and effective use of costume. Kelly also creates the impression that she is not the only person out there on stage; that Miriam is a part of a larger world, and this helps the audience relate to Miriam and her problems. It’s clear that Kelly and director Tessa King have spent a lot of time observing and studying the Melbourne’s socialite wives and as a result you believe that someone like Miriam is out there living in Toorak or Brighton, struggling with her wasabi-infused pannacotta.

On occasion the performance does run out of steam, oddly enough when Miriam monologues go on too long, because as a character Miriam’s pregnant pauses and sighs say so much more, but this is only a minor quibble. The design is excellent; the set is a fully working kitchen with appliances and all the ingredients that Miriam uses in her cooking. The lighting is minimalist and works well to highlight the performance.

Miriam is fully-realised character, who no doubt has a lot of life in her yet, and who we may be seeing on our television screens soon. Go and see this funny and at times poignant show, if nothing else to find out what Miriam does with the Monkfish.

Kelly and King Productions presents
Miriam and the Monkfish: A Live Cooking Show!

Venue: Dantes, Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
Dates: 9 Oct - 14 Oct 2007
Times: All shows start at 7:30 pm and run for approximately 50 minutes
Tickets: Conc $15.00, Full $18.00, Group $10.00
Bookings: Festival Tix: 03 8412 8777 or www.melbournefringe.com.au

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