Friday 29 March 2024

The Sun and the Hermit review (Melbourne International Comedy Festival)

From the moment Belinda Anderson-Hunt enters the room, you can tell that The Sun and the Hermit is going to a very unique show. Anderson-Hunt's experience and learnings from French clown school Gaulier are entirely on display here as she creates multiple imaginary worlds that feel authentic and much-loved.

The stage has a number of pieces of furniture and props all draped with white sheets. It's a house full of memories but very much neglected. There is dust everywhere. This sense of melancholy lingers in the space with the idea that as adults we forget how to play. The sheets are gradually removed and the restraint that Anderson-Hunt exhibits with each of her characters is inspired and extremely effective in building up the anticipation as to what will come next.

Regardless of its length, she affords each sketch considered character and story development that results in a great pay-off. Her portrayal of an elvish creature is so ridiculously riveting as every single movement, facial expression and interaction with the audience comes across as so foreign and new.

There are numerous times while watching, where you question how much of this is improvised and how much is rehearsed. Her exchanges with the audience demonstrate how rapidly Anderson-Hunt's mind is churning over what is occurring and how she can use this for her show.

The Sun and the Hermit is full of delightful surprises and while there are many laughs to be had, it's also a reminder that we can still play as adults. The rapport that Anderson-Hunt is able to build with us in one brief hour is so genuine and strong that you have to wonder what connections we could make in our own lives if we opened ourselves up to the possibilities of our imagination.


Venue: Motley Bauhaus, 118 Elgin St, Carlton
 until 5 April | 6pm
 60 minutes
 $25 Full | $21 Conc
 Melbourne International Comedy Festival

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