Sunday, 1 April 2018

Down The Rabbit Hole - Melbourne International Comedy Festival review

She won the award for outstanding emerging performer at the 2017 New Zealand International Comedy Festival for her show Down The Rabbit Hole, and now Angella Dravid has come to Melbourne to share her unique story of how she got married to a man 30 years older than her and then ended up in prison with a criminal conviction. 

Dravid's life is incredible fodder for a comedian and you can easily picture them becoming very animated with the audience and really playing up the experience, however Dravid has decided to go with a completely opposite approach. Her delivery for the entire show is completely deadpan, and in some ways this works in her favour as it allows the audience to focus on the story and to imagine the situation as it is being described. Some clarity and further details on the events leading up to her arrest are needed though, as the way it is currently described leaves some ambiguity as to what actually occurred.
 
During the show, Dravid remains motionless and has her feet firmly planted in the same place while standing on an empty stage with a black curtain along the wall. There is nothing visually engaging about the performance and while the story is enough to draw you in, it can only take you so far. A break in the pace is needed particularly as by the end of the show - with major points having unfolded much earlier - audience energy begins to wane. While Dravid does include some visual material in the final minutes, incorporating that element throughout would arouse further interest.

There aren't too many comedians who can say they shared prison quarters with Rosemary West, and it's for this reason that Down The Rabbit Hole is bound to intrigue audiences. While elements of the show could do with some restructuring to strengthen the overall performance, this is a story that speaks for itself. It will be interesting to see if Dravid makes this form of straight-faced stand-up her trademark or if she'll approach a different style for her future shows.

Click here to read my interview with Angella Dravid.

Venue: Forum Theatre, Cnr Flinders & Russell Sts, Melbourne
Season: Until 22 April | Tues - Sat 8.30pm, Sun 7.30pm
Length: 55 minutes
Tickets: $20 Fri-Sat
| $18 Wed, Thurs and Sun | $15 Tightarse Tuesday
Bookings: MICF website

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