When people put on a show for the public, the last thing they want to be called is mediocre or average or...beige. But Emily Carr is here to assist us in accepting our beige status with her Melbourne Fringe Festival Show, Beige Bitch. Presented as a self-help seminar, Carr takes her aspirational audience through the steps required to not only be beige but to learn how to embrace their beigeness.
These steps include categories such as Denial, Rejection and Depression, and they are explored with anecdotes, stories and song. While I cringe whenever I see a ukulele on stage these days, Carr's use of it is almost welcome due to its commonplace perception and being quite unremarkable.Carr's performance breaks her own rules though as she exceeds expectations. She is very engaging with her audience, interacting with us in various ways that build our relationship with her and allows her to push a little bit further where the show can go. She has great control as both storyteller and a character in her own story.
While most of the show is focused on the laughs and the funnies, there are instances when Carr hits heavier themes, such as when she plays a woman auditioning for roles but being limited in these by a director who deems her unsuitable because of her age and appearance. These moments provide a nice contrast to the frivolity and ridiculousness of some of the sketches and scenes and add more weight to the overall idea of being beige.
On paper, Beige Bitch offers itself as a show that revels in being satisfactory, but in reality, Carr presents something highly entertaining. Its self-help structure may have been seen and done many times before, but Carr's performance and observations ensures the audience are guaranteed a refreshing evening of comedy.
Venue: The Motley Bauhaus, 118 Elgin St, Carlton
Season: until 23 October | 6:30pm
Duration: 50 minutes
Tickets: $28 Full | $25 Concession
Bookings: Melbourne Fringe Festival