Friday 7 April 2023

Lolly Bag review (Melbourne International Comedy Festival)

Returning to the comedy festival with Lolly Bag, Hannah Camilleri presents a variety of sketches with some new and some returning but beloved characters. This mixed bag once again highlights Camilleri's ability to draw you into this make-believe world with relatable situations where you may very well have interacted with these types of people in your real life.

Camilleri is a chameleon when it comes to transforming into these people. She is unrecognisable from one to the next with just a simple wig or prop. Her physical changes as she goes from sketch to sketch are nuanced and well crafted, particularly with the opening act of a mechanic tending to a customer. It is a stereotype of mechanics but she also gives him his own distinct personality and idiosyncrasies that makes him completely and utterly believable. Camilleri clearly has a strong affection for her creations.

You know you are on to a good thing when you begin putting on a loose sweater and a wig and the audience whispers "yessss!". When school teacher Barb struts out on stage to supervise the Year 8 students during their exam, those who are familiar with her are eagerly waiting for that shrill voice to be heard, and those who don't are in for a joyous treat.

Camilleri is not afraid to mingle with the audience - and we are more than happy to have a chat to the mechanic, to Barb or to our pregnant boastful friend - allowing the conversation and act, to go in whatever direction it does. When she gets the audience to direct her in a scene, no one has any idea where it will lead and it's fun to watch a performer be surprised and not know what they are doing and seeing how they handle it.

With every mixed bag of lollies, there's always something you won't like as much as the others (hello liqorice), and with Lolly Bag there is a dog act that is cute but perhaps goes on longer than it should. Apart from that, there are some wonderfully quirky characters that we get to visit, and with the skill Camilleri possesses in finding their authenticity, you will definitely laugh the night away with this bag of goodies.


Venue: Melbourne Town Hall, 100 Swanston St, Melbourne
Season: until 23 April | Tues - Sat 6:30pm, Sun 5:30pm
Length: 50 minutes
Tickets: $26-28 Full | $24-26 Conc | $23 Tightarse Tuesday
Bookings: Melbourne International Comedy Festival

No comments:

Post a Comment