Saturday, 14 April 2018

Butt Donut - Melbourne International Comedy Festival review

After making her debut at the Melbourne Fringe Festival last year, Annie Louey has brought her Butt Donut back to Melbourne audiences. Louey was 16 when she almost died in a freak accident forcing her to deal with some very adult stuff. Butt Donut is an exploration of that pain and sorrow and what better way to tackle such dark issues than through comedy?

Louey has a welcoming presence on stage and she kicks off the show with some anecdotes that quickly puts the audience at ease. Louey has a solid grasp on her material and a clear idea of what it is she wants to discuss but this doesn't always translate in the show. While she predominantly looks at her own accident and the death of her father, the rest of the show feels like it's out of place.

Racism, sexism and people's ignorance are mentioned from both ends of the spectrum throughout the show, and while this is where Louey gets the most laughs, it is difficult to understand its purpose other than to showcase the promising comedic skills Louey possesses. Her re-enactment of her relatives wonderment at her ability to use chopsticks being a perfect example of this, which also highlights her knack for physical comedy. Even when the show doesn't quite get its delivery right, the audience remains engaged in what is being shared.

While the heart of Butt Donut lies more in performance and storytelling than stand-up comedy, Louey shows great potential and there is a freshness to seeing a Chinese-Australian female comedian telling her stories. It will be interesting to see what Louey comes up with for her next show and how she will incorporate her family "secrets" to find the humour in other facets of her life.

Venue: Pilgrim Bar, Federation Wharf, Princes Walk 
Season: until 21 April | Mon - Sat 8:15pm 
Length: 50 minutes
Tickets: $23 Full | $20 Conc | $18 Tightarse Tuesday
Bookings: MICF website

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