Saturday 22 April 2023

Outer Child review (Melbourne International Comedy Festival)

As adults we often forget what life was like when we were children and the freedom that came with being a child and not being jaded, worried, cynical or anxious about life. In Outer Child, Ashley Apap takes her audiences on a self-help journey of discovery about repair, understanding and self-compassion.

Apap plays a no-nonsense life coach, whom we have paid a lot of money for this six step program to learn from. She's so focused on this journey that she won't even accept any form of applause when she appears on stage. Everything seems to be going well(ish) until she has an IBS attack which results in Apap's inner child becoming free with the older Apap now trapped inside a hydroflask.

We are then taken through the six steps of the program and while each step is also a realisation or a step towards change for the older Apap, it also includes a number of songs that showcases Apap's ability to write very funny and catchy songs. "Gross Girl" would definitely be the crowd favourite as she sings about all the gross thing she does and doesn't care that she does.

Apap does great work in her portrayal as the straight-laced anxious adult as well as the younger version of her self, with well considered body language, voice and language. The appearance of imaginary friend Glorp is also a delight with Apap providing them with a whole new accent, attitude and appearance. Her interaction with the audience and dealing with a faulty mic highlight her improvisation skills and talent for finding the joke in everything.

Apap may not be qualified to give out therapy but she is definitely qualified to dish out the laughs with Outer Child. While there is some room for editing and tightening up the narrative a bit, Apap's second show is far more ambitious and one step ahead than her previous outing, Ouch!, and so one can only wonder what she comes up with next.


Venue: The Improv Conspiracy Theatre, 19 Meyers Pl., Melbourne
Season: Until 23 April, Thurs - Sat 7pm | Sun 6pm
Length: 60 minutes 
Tickets: $25.50
Bookings: Melbourne International Comedy Festival

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