Sunday 8 October 2023

Insomniac Mixtape review (Melbourne Fringe Festival)

There is nothing worse than going to bed at a reasonable time and being awake all night. You've done all the right things to be able to fall asleep but to no avail. Insomnia is here. Telia Nevile knows exactly how that feels and in her cabaret comedy, Insomniac Mixtape, she takes us through her journey of restlessness and watching the clock tick tick tick away towards the morning sun.

She begins with a variety of exercises to get us sleeping, including visualisations and breathing techniques but despite her determination to stay in the present, Nevile's mind begins to race from worry to worry. It is clear from the laughter in the audience that we have all been there before too and perhaps some of us have been triggered by her thoughts and are now worrying about these exact same things.

Nevile's connection with the audience is supported by her incredibly descriptive words and poetry where she paints a vivid picture of where she is and what she is feeling. It is an expectation from her work that everything she says is laced with truth, comedy and the slightly absurd: "the more you say just relax, well say hello to my axe".

While the words and ideas are beautifully presented and effective, Insomniac Mixtape is in need of some additional stagecraft. Nevile performs on a bare stage, wearing blue pajamas with two lights shining on her. This works well given the theme is about sleeping and giving the picture of lying in a dark abyss and waiting for sleep to come, but the 40-minute-long visual monotony needs to be interrupted. This is something that she no doubt has considered given how she ends the show, and while it doesn't need to be to that level, there needs to be some change.

For anyone who has ever had trouble sleeping, Insomniac Mixtape is the perfect way of expressing the frustrations we go through as we toss and turn and scream silently all night. For those who haven’t, you definitely walk out of the show with an appreciation of just how god damn well you have it! But for both, this is another well-considered production from Nevile that shows just how strong and powerful words can be.

Show Details

Venue: Trades Hall, Cnr Lygon & Victoria Sts, Carlton
Season: until 22 October | Wed - Sat 7:30pm, Sun 6:30pm
Duration: 45 minutes
Tickets: $30 Full | $25 Concession | $22.50 Hump Day Discount (Wednesday)
Bookings: Melbourne Fringe Festival

Image credit: Tom Noble


No comments:

Post a Comment