Friday 5 April 2019

The Pyramid - Melbourne International Comedy Festival review

Steph Tisdell wants to be the best at what she does. She wants to sit at the top of the pyramid. With so many pyramids to choose from though, the choice is not that simple and in her new stand-up show, The Pyramid, she looks at ideas behind power, leadership and how to determine where she sits on the pyramid, and which one.

What is extremely endearing about Tisdell is how open and natural she is with her audience when on stage. She is not performing, she is not putting on a persona or pretending she is anyone but herself. This is made crystal clear when on the night attended, she pauses in the middle of a sentence and exclaims “Oh my god, is that Miranda Tapsell??!” and then proceeds to lose her shit over the fact that Tapsell has come to see her show - and we love it. Similarly, her interactions with two audience members who may or may not be related to her go on for a bit longer than they should, but we still enjoy seeing her eyes light up as they discuss people they might know.

But Tisdell needs to work on what it is she wants to explore with this show and stay focused on it. Yes, she provides us with a variety of pyramids: the Global Wealth Pyramid, the Social Media Likes Pyramid and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Pyramid to name a few, but she is unable to effectively bring these in line with her life or observations. She mentions her experience of working with the Massai people, being indigenous and societal expectations, but she fumbles when it comes to effectively connecting these with the different pyramids. At one point she lists a few examples of ridiculous spurious correlations and even though this is quite entertaining, the purpose is unclear.

While The Pyramid is not as tight as her debut show from last year’s festival, Identity Steft, with further development and really sinking her teeth into the issues that she wants to highlight and the story that she wants to tell, this could be a sharp and critical look at society. Despite this, The Pyramid still proves there is plenty of potential for Tisdell to become the best at what she does. 


Venue: Victoria Hotel, 215 Lt. Collins St., Melbourne
Season: Until 21 April | Tues - Sat 7:15pm, Sun 6:15pm
Length: 60 minutes 
Tickets: $22 - $25 Full | $21 - $24 Conc | $20 Tightarse Tuesday
Bookings: MICF website

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