Thursday 18 April 2019

Misery - Melbourne International Comedy Festival review

Neil Triffett loves misery and misery loves company so it's only natural that Triffett would choose to make a comedy show about it, after all, he did write and direct a feature film called Emo the Musical. Armed with a piano, ukulele and his memories, Triffett talks and sings his way through Misery while highlighting how sadness and anxiety can impact your outlook on life. 

Triffett's wry sense of humour is evident from the beginning as he discusses being a 12-year-old boy in Port Arthur coming to terms with his sexuality, while also trying not to minimise anyone else's just-as-valid circumstances. His catchy musical numbers display Triffett's ability to express complex emotions through common situations and stories. They provide an insight into his mind where traditional storytelling would perhaps struggle to be as successful.

However, it is the storytelling that holds this work back from becoming a fleshed out piece on adversity and resilience. This is mostly due to Triffett skirting around the times he has been miserable or upset. At one point, he fleetingly mentions how the film he had spent years working on tanked at the box office and his partner of a few years had broken up with him but he doesn't elaborate on these events, which is surprising as they appear to be very important moments of his life.

If the audience had further details about these and less about Marie Curie and other historical figures' lives, there would be a deeper connection between him and us. Having a greater understanding of how he got to where he is now would make the finale feel more earned and have a longer lasting effect on the audience.

Heartache and unhappiness are emotions that people know all too well and it is clear that Triffett has had his fair share. By opening up more about these experiences and making himself vulnerable, there is a strong possibility that he can turn Misery into a depressingly uplifting show. 


Venue: Tasma Terrace, 6 Parliament Pl. Melbourne 

Season: Until 21 April - 10:00pm
Length: 50 minutes 
Tickets: $25 Full | $22 Conc
Bookings: MICF website

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