Thursday 6 April 2017

Bliss! review - Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Everyone wants a hot beach body for summer. For some it's an unattainable dream and for others, it's their sole purpose for living. In Bliss! Isabel Angus takes a number of swipes at an industry that has people feeling more insecure about themselves, through her fitspo and fitspirational character, Penny Parsins. 

Angus touches on a number of issues that are raised by the fitness obsessed times we live in. Having recently watched another fitness themed show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival but from a male perspective, it was interesting to see the similarities and difference that females encounter when it comes to fitness, most notably that men exercise to put on muscle and women, such as Penny, exercise to lose weight because as we all know, strong is the new skinny.

Another topic that Angus looks at is the derogatory comments made towards women who do not have the perfect body, and even when they do, there is always something else to criticise them about. When Penny is discounting other fitspirational figures, it is based on their appearance and not their knowledge or credentials.

Everyone is so desperate to latch on to the next health "craze" that science is often thrown out the window. Pete Evans and his paleo ways get a few nods as does Belle Gibson who infamously lied about curing her cancer through nutrition and alternative therapies.

While the issues explored are interesting, the narrative structure and humour doesn't always hit the mark, nor does it seem to have enough substance to last the duration of the show. There are one too many fitness workout routines and a few flashbacks that break the rhythm of the rest of the show. Angus however has incredible energy and maintains that high throughout Bliss! and Penny's journey of self discovery during the course of the hour is interesting to watch, with a refreshingly unexpected outcome.

Bliss! might not be everyone's cup of chai, but it is a dedicated performance by Angus and there is much potential for this satirical look at the health industry and the fitspo movement to really sinks its teeth into the issues being raised.

Click here to read my interview with Isabel Angus.

Venue: Greek Centre, Cnr. Lonsdale & Russell St., Melbourne.
Season: until 23 April | Tues - Sat 9.30pm, Sun 8:30pm
Length: 50 minutes
Tickets: $24 Full | $20 Conc
| $18 Tightarse Tuesday
Bookings: MICF website

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