Friday 14 April 2017

Impure Thoughts review - Melbourne International Comedy Festival

There are times when we find ourselves in situations where our internal voice is saying something completely different to our external one. This is usually because our true thoughts would be something unacceptable, rude or improper. In her latest show presented as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Claire Healy's Impure Thoughts delves into these urges one by one in a night of striking music and appealing storytelling.

It's been over a year since I last saw Healy perform and in that time, it appears she has gone through some form of exciting transformation, as she seems to have really found her voice with Impure Thoughts. It's loud and commanding and I was struck by the subtle differences she incorporated into each song.  Her opening number, sung in French, is a powerful beginning and despite not understanding the language, her audience are still able to deduce what is being shared.

Healy's affable nature is evident as she shares anecdotes from her stint working as a performer in nursing homes in England to her annoyance of Facebook's targeted marketing. While the links between story and song were not always clear or strong, both were still highly entertaining.

The show never get too nasty or tries to deal with taboo subject matters, which is in line with Healy's quirky sense of humour and cheerful view of the world. Even when her rage and frustrations are legitimate, Healy makes sure that the tone of the show is kept light-hearted and fun, such as lampooning an article published in 1895 listing the 41 don'ts for female cyclists to highlight enduring issues of sexism and misogyny.

Impure Thoughts might not be as scandalous or salacious as the show title might suggest, but Healy has ensured that we are kept smiling throughout the cabaret. It's an evening of great songs, clever writing and some excellent wide-eye stares. 
Venue: Tasma Terrace, 6 Parliament Place, Melbourne.
Season: until 22 April | Mon - Sat 8:00pm (no shows 14 -1 7 April)

Length: 50 minutes
Tickets: $25.30 Full | $20.30 Conc
| $18.30 Tightarse Tuesday
Bookings: MICF website

* Original review appeared on Theatre Press on 14 April 2017.

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