Saturday 24 March 2018

Whom - Melbourne International Comedy Festival preview

She was The Worst at last year 's Melbourne International Comedy Festival, but this year Clara Cupcakes is finding out who she is. Is she a comedian? A burlesque performer? An improviser? Or just some weird kid? In Whom, Clara hopes to figure it all out through her unique brand of whimsical humour that has seen her nominated for the Golden Gibbo twice.

"Whom is my brain. It's a party about how I'm bad at being a regular human. But it's also a bit about how I'm not a comedian by a lot of people's standards. I'm a burlesque performer and you can't be a comedian and a burlesque performer at the same time. One excludes the other apparently," she says. "I've spent years pushing back against burlesque to be taken more seriously in the comedy world and now I'm like fuck it. I'm a burlesque performer. I get my tits out and they are fucking funny so deal with it. It's the same as physical comedy. It's been very refreshing. I recently did a burlesque routine at a comedy night and it felt so good. It feels like the right thing."

If there's one thing to know about Clara Cupcakes, created by Elly Squire, it's that she knows how to stand out in a crowd. Unlike her poster for Whom, which sees a number of people wearing her trademark make-up and individualised life size paper hair cut-outs but no Clara in sight. "I thought it would be a good idea to not be on the poster because it was a show about what other people think of me. So I decided to make 92 other people look like me and use that as the poster," Clara explains. "I don't want to say it was a mistake but OH BOY. It was a lot of work. I think I have spent a full two weeks on all of the artwork. And by that I mean the full 24 hours of each day of that week. It was brutal but totally worth it I think."

It's not just her appearance and posters that are inventive and elaborate but her sets, costumes and props, and anyone who saw The Worst last year would find it incredibly difficult to disagree. Fortunately, audiences can expect a similar experience with Whom. "I'm still working out the kinks but you can expect balloons, patty pan party dresses and potentially a giant foot. You know...the usual."

Clara has been a seasoned performer for many years now in both burlesque and comedy - two very different audience types but both very passionate too. However, when asked about her most memorable audience experience, the response is a typical Clara response of simply being with an audience who are having fun. "Oh gosh. I love it when they laugh. That is seriously all I need to keep me going," she explains. "It's like a drug. I did have one person who saw my show 2 years ago and loved it so much it inspired him to make his own show. That's pretty special."


1. My favourite board game is Trouble because it's simple but weirdly competitive.

2. Which movie would you like to see turned into a musical and why?

What We Do In The Shadows because the world needs a successful vampire musical.

3. Which one person would you love to come to your show and why?

Rowan Atkinson! OH! I would actually die. He was my first comedy hero.

4. I will try to keep sane during MICF by
eating a vegetable most days and hugging someone everyday.

5. Why did the chicken cross the road?

Because she's an independent lady who does what she wants.


Venue: The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place, Melbourne
Season: 9 - 22 April | Mon - Sun 8.30pm
Length: 60 minutes
Tickets: $32 Full | $25 Conc

Bookings: MICF website 

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