Sunday 27 January 2019

The Miss Behave Gameshow - Midsumma Festival review

There's a strong sense of excitement running through the audience as we take our seats for The Miss Behave Gameshow. All the way from Las Vegas, this part game show part variety entertainment leaves us all wondering what we are in for. Right up until the very end it's constant surprises and a little bit of shock. After all, how many shows do you go to where your sock ends up around a man's cock?

Miss Behave (Amy Saunders) is a standout as our host and ensures everything runs as smoothly as can be in a show where nothing can be planned. While there's a structure present, due to the heavy involvement of audience participation, responses and reactions are always going to be unexpected and on the evening I attended, Miss Behave ended up in a brilliant pash with an audience member which she took in her stride. Her glamorous and heavily tattooed assistant Tiffany (Bret Pfister), dressed in a tight safari shirt and shorts, brings playful cheekiness to the proceedings and also delights the audience in showing her flexibility and appreciation for Britney Spears.

We are divided into two teams - The iPhones and The Apples - and before we know it the games have already begun. The rules are quite simple: answer questions and win points for your team. The more you want it, the more points you get. We quickly realise there are no rules to when and how our host will give us points so stealing points, bribery and flattery are also means in which these are gathered throughout the evening.

While there is plenty to be entertained with in The Miss Behave Gameshow, there is still a purpose to the show: to encourage everyone to use their voices and fight for what they want. Every voice counts we are told repeatedly.  The cardboard boxes and signs that fill the stage also serve as a constant reminder of this with its messages and slogans that range from political phrases like "black lives matter" and "loves wins" to some simple and blunt truths like "yes we can't" and "life's not fair".

The climax of the show however, while entertaining was somewhat of a letdown without any form of reveal or aha! moment. Similarly, the interactive promotion of using WhatsApp in the show and texting and sending photos to Miss Behave, amounts to only a few minutes of novelty and would have been good to see this form be inserted more prominently into the show given the advertising around it.

Even with these small quibbles, The Miss Behave Gameshow is definitely an event to remember and gives its audience plenty to laugh about and also much to think about. However for me, the one thought I had as I walked home on that stinking hot Thursday evening, was what am I going to do with my sock? 

The Miss Behave Gameshow was performed at Arts Centre Melbourne between 22 and 27 January as part of the Midsumma Festival.

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