Tuesday 16 April 2019

The 2007 Wonthaggi Blue Light Disco - Melbourne International Comedy Festival review

A blue light disco is the highlight of any teenager's life. It's an opportunity to cut loose, enjoy some dancing, banter with friends and partake in the odd bit of fingering. Or maybe not, as one of the rules of the dance within The 2007 Wonthaggi Blue Light Disco is no fingering. And also no drinking. But most importantly, no fingering.

Through a number of sketches, The Dizzy Biz (Alex Cooper, Kayla Hamill and Jordan Barr) bring the residents of this small town to life and shine a spotlight on what it's like to be a teenager in 2007. The show opens with the strict no-nonsense organisers setting up for the disco and it sets the scene for what to expect from these odd characters. The focus of the show is on a romance between two students, Frenchie and Jason, who each come with their own set of dramas.

Unfortunately it never feels likes The Dizzy Biz flesh out the characters enough to have us caring about them and there isn't a sense of closure to the evening, which is surprising as the show finished ten minutes ahead of its 50 minute advertised duration. There are sketches that end with a whimper instead of a bang and so feel unfinished and subsequently unsatisfying, such as the Twilight worshipping Zooper Dooper scene. The audience participation is also awkward in that they don't add anything of value to the sketches and it probably would have worked better without them.

However, when The Dizzy Biz hit the mark, they do it with flair. Hamill's impassioned speech about women and cunts and power is equally hilarious as it is moving. Barr's The Singing Girl is a low-key but great "wtf moment", coming completely left off centre for a show that is already far left of centre. Her improvised lyrics seem to just roll off her tongue and they receive some strong laughs from the audience.

Part of the difficulty with The 2007 Wonthaggi Blue Light Disco is getting the balance of narrative and sketch comedy right. In this instance, there feels like there's too much focus on sketch and not enough on story and as such, the lives that are being portrayed in this town don't mean much to us and the humour loses much of the emotional punch it requires.


Venue: Trades Hall, 54 Victoria Street, Melbourne 
Season: until 21 April | Mon - Sat, 6:30pm, Sun 5:30pm
Length: 50 minutes
Tickets: $28 Full | $23 Conc | $22 Tightarse Tuesday 
Bookings: MICF website

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