Awkwardness is a show where two comedians are able to produce a show which is unified around a central theme, but manage to convey different interpretations and performances. Although not the strongest shows in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, they do provide an example of how two comedians with different yet similar styles can create an engaging performance. Plus, it’s a show for those who have experienced social awkwardness or anxiety.
The two performers were good – their style of shy and bumbling worked well for the show theme, as well as useful for hiding things such as jokes which fell flat, if they forgot lines, or if they needed palm cards to remember the segments. It also allowed the audience to get a glimpse of the makings of a show – an exploration of the meta relationship between performer, performance, and audience, as well as society at large. All with some good, albeit sometimes confusing, jokes.
The show was a little bit off on the evening I attended however, and this was because, as one of the performers noted, over half the audience were old school friends or associates. It seemed as though they went primarily to see their old schoolmate perform, and didn’t engage much with the first performer. Furthermore, they often distracted their friend with their laughter and occasional heckling. While strong performers may be able to overcome these odds, it really is also on the audience to act appropriately for performers.
Overall, a decent show, although one that makes you feel awkward as you laugh. If you would like to come out of your comedy shows feeling as though you are simultaneously more relaxed, yet seemed to have gained an empathetic understanding of the socially awkward woman, then this is a good show for you. Or if you have ever experienced any form of social anxiety. Really, the title says it all – but it does make for some amusing moments and a light night out.
Awkwardness is on at 7:30pm at the Croft Institute until 21 April (no Sundays or Mondays) as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Tickets are available via the MICF website.