In Word Crime, Alice Fraser explores words and how we use them to shape the world. The set itself is covered in them, and Fraser wields them with some fury throughout the fifty minute show. With her banjo slung across her shoulders she quickly sets herself up as the queen of the clever rhyme. The songs are fun; the one about violence is brilliant, and Fraser executes them well. Her voice is sweet and easy to listen to.
Fraser begins her show by telling her audience that words are very important to her, but there are moments when they seem to run away from her, where she risks losing control of the material. Fraser has a lot to say and at times it feels that stand-up comedy is the wrong vehicle for her.
Much of the material is about sexism, racism and violence, and Fraser treads a tight line between comedy and vitriol. Odd segues and some awkward moments sit alongside some predicable material. The things that jarred the most were the racist jokes that for the most part worked only to reinforce racist myths.
There’s no doubt Fraser is a talented performer. With a little more practice in making a tightly rehearsed script appear more off-the-cuff, and some adjustments to the material that currently isn't working as stand-up, she has a winner on her hands.
Venue: The Butterfly Club | Carson Place (off Little Collins St), Melbourne
Dates: April 9, 10, 16, 17, 2013
Tickets: $10 - $18
Bookings: 9360 2000 | thebutterflyclub.com
Part of the 2013 Melbourne International Comedy Festival