Thursday 13 April 2023

Grim review (Melbourne International Comedy Festival)

Goodness. What a devilish delight that Grim is. Ellen Grimshaw plays Grim, an alien who gets pushed off their Mum's spaceship on their way to Data Collection Headquarters in Hollywood, landing in a Pepsi ad audition in Carlton. What? Yup. It's extremely ridiculous but if you accept it and move on, you get to really enjoy the performance by Grimshaw, the absurd humour and the chance to consider what the cost of always trying to please people can be.

Grimshaw is superb in this role. She completely gives herself over to Grim with the stuttering voice, the physicality and the outlandish red costume with accompanying wig. The alien language that she creates might sound like a bunch of nonsense but it genuinely feels like she's gone and made a specific noise for its equivalent English word, and whether she has or not is beside the point as it is still works on that level.

She is fully committed and very convincing presenting Grim’s growing desire to be liked and trying to grow their likeability. And this is very unique to Grim. This isn't a human being and therefore, the way it's conveyed is authentic to wherever Grim comes from. Grim's interactions with the audience also display Grimshaw's boldness and fearlessness in engaging with us and working / playing with what we give back to her.

Kellie-Anne Kimber delivers a flawless sound and lighting design. There is a lot going on, but there is a lot going on in Grim's mind and it's a perfect capture of how easily this world can fuck you up and change who you are.

Grim is an out of this world, larger than life character, to us humans anyway. But Grim is a marvelous blend of satire and absurdism to tell a story of someone seeking acceptance, belonging and a community. There' a charming vulnerability to the show that will have you on side with Grim, with Grim and with Grimshaw. This is an absolute festival highlight. 


Venue: The Motley Bauhaus, 118 Elgin St, Carlton

Season: until 22 April | 13-16 April 8:30pm, 20-22 April 5:30pm
Duration: 55 minutes

Tickets: $27.50 Full | $22.50 Concession
Bookings: The Motley Bauhaus and Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Photo Credit:  Shannyn Higgins

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