Sunday 20 September 2015

Alice Tovey: Malice review - Melbourne Fringe

Alice Tovey has a lot to say about many things. Mainly it's about things that frustrate her and anger her. Things like racism, anti-vaccine supporters and organised religion. In her Melbourne Fringe cabaret show Malice, Tovey sings her way through these contentious issues with with and charm and with no care if she is going to offend you or not.

While she performs a number of brilliant songs, the highlight of the evening would have to be her loving tribute to “Today” show host Karl Stefanovic, in which Tovey sings about her suffering from Stefano-sickness. "Disciple of Satan" is also a great song that is infused with Tovey's sharp wit and humour.

Accompanying Tovey on piano is composer Ned Dixon, who plays with great energy and is a solid musical support to Tovey's voice. The two have co-written these original songs and between them there is a huge amount of talent.

Between songs, Tovey shares some anecdotal stories with us while also making pointed remarks about the society we live in, such as her commentary upon being told by a man that the feminist goal of equality is like the RSPCA only caring about sheep. The stories are well constructed and told, and along with Tovey’s easy humour, I could easily have sat there and listened to her recall these experiences for far longer.

However, it's not all jokes and jibes in this 60-minute show, as shown when Tovey dedicates a song to a friend's recent diagnosis with an eating disorder. It's a touching moment that is sung from the heart and a reminder that we all need to be kinder to ourselves.

Great songs, clever lyrics and humourous stories are in abundance with Malice. Tovey’s naturally charming stage presence is a crowd pleaser and rightfully so. Despite the seriousness or dryness of the topics Tovey takes on, you are guaranteed to walk out of Malice with a smile on your face.

Venue: Fringe Hub, The Lithuanian Club, 44 Errol St, North Melbourne, 3051
Season: Until 3 October | Tues-Sat 10.15pm, Sun 9.15pm
Tickets:$23 Full | $18 Conc | Cheap Tuesday

* Original review appeared on Theatre Press on 20 September

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