Wild Women of Comedy

The Wild Women of Comedy have come to Melbourne's Revolt Theatre in a blaze of gorgeous smiles, figure hugging clothes and deadly senses of humour. The show has gotten quite a bit of press since it began touring last year, and its MICF incarnation comprises of the tough-talking Sarah Levett, the superbly un-sophisticated Anne Ferguson-Howe and the hilariously irascible Bev Killick.

This show has a goal beyond shocking audiences into stitches – they're out to support female comedians and prove that women are funny.

To some people, the question of "Are women funny?" just seems stupid. Of course we are, and if you think we're not, you need some female friends. Or you could come meet any of these girls.

Sarah Levett is our MC for the Melbourne show. For such a fantastic show, it starts out slowly. The voiceover intro of a male MC introducing the fighters in the ring tonight feels forced. They had to start it somehow, but the boxing gloves and the choreographed start doesn't really herald the talent to come. I'd have loved to see them all sitting on stage having a drink and greeting the audience (in reality, probably heckling us) as we came in.  

We were a tough Wednesday night audience for Sarah Levett to warm up; her self-consciousness peeped out and seemed to stop her relaxing. As much as I really wanted to laugh for her, I found her content very generic. Fair enough, talking about dieting and vaginas and skinny bitches is expected, but we need to hear a different take on these topics.

Sarah warns us that our first act, Anne Ferguson-Howe, is a little shy and needs our encouragement, so she dragged some applause from our sluggish hands.

You'll only believe that Anne is shy if you've never met or seen her. She had me ready to laugh the moment I saw her strut out in wedges and her cling-stretch outfit. She rocks a half-beehive-poof hairdo and pearls like only a professional beautician can.

The night gets going as Anne tells us her theories on the pity friend, and the story of when she finally lost her virginity. This is only leading us up to stories about her first beautician job when she moved to Aus from the UK five years ago, and was shocked to discover the trend for Brazilians. The sheer amount of names she uses for our 'lady parts' is incredible; "fanjeeezus" has to be a standout.

Her clever characterisation of a wannabe sophisticated 'yummy mummy' mixed with her delightfully rude humour creates a persona she can run wild with. Rocky – one of our initially talkative male audience members – certainly won't forget her.

Then Bev walks out and the night jumps to a whole new level.

Bev Killick is wickedly funny, and as she tells her stories you think she can't get any better – then she starts singing. Where the hell did that voice come from? Not only is her own voice great, her imitations are killers. Add that to her uhhh, let's call them 'lyric adjustments', and you'll never hear some of your favourite songs the same again.

Don't expect the show to finish on time, because once she gets going there's no stopping her – and no one wants to! She bounces between her planned material and improvised audience interaction. Hands-on interaction may not occur in every show, however if you're stupid enough to check your iPhone when you're sitting in the front row, things will definitely get interactive. "Are you on your f***ing iPhone? You are! She's on her f***ing iPhone! All right, give it here. Come on, give it!" In a few strides she's down into the audience and has confiscated the phone. "Okay, let's see what you were up to..." For 10 minutes Bev has her audience in terrified hysterics as she calls the iPhone owner's mother, and when Mum doesn't pick up, she calls the hubby who gets told that his wife is at a comedy show, but has left her manners at home. We don't get much from the startled man (Ralph), but Bev gives some detailed 'marital guidance' before she finally hands back the phone and returns to the stage.

She reenergises with a glass of sauvignon blanc, brought as ordered by a bloke who is brave enough to try leaving for refreshments. If you've not gotten to see Bev before, she is a Melbourne institution that you simply can't miss. If you've seen her before, you've probably already bought tickets.

Beyond the funny façade, this show asks a very important question – why are there so few women in stand up? An article on the wildwomenofcomedy.com.au website gives some very interesting answers. If you're interested in the argument, check out this great article on their website (scroll down to the bottom to find it). If you just want a night of deliciously crude comedy with some brilliant comediennes, these girls will do it for you!

2012 Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Wild Women of Comedy

Venue: Revolt Melbourne | 12 Elizabeth St, Kensington (Licensed venue. Under 18s must be accompanied by a Parent or Legal Guardian.)
Dates: 10 - 22 April
Times: Tue-Sun 8pm
Duration: 75 minutes
Tickets: $25 – $15 

Bookings: 9376 2115 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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