Susie Youssef is a consistent critics’ darling at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. This year, Youssef returns with her trademark smooth blend of sketch and stand-up with yet another widely appreciated show; Check Youssef Before You Wreck Youssef.
Youssef’s stage presence is buoyant. Even when the content of her jokes is deeply personal, and often deeply embarrassing, it’s drowned in a playful, self deprecating, happiness. Every aspect of her seems to be constantly moving and utterly expressive. In many ways, it’s the quintessential Australian comedy show. Check Youssef touches on anxiety, heritage, dating – all the usual suspects – in a way that is unique because of how they relate to Youssef, and how the audience relates to her.
Threaded expertly through the stand up are a series of sketches, some of which rely on expertly executed sound design. Youssef shifts and shuffles through different character mannerisms and voices almost imperceptibly – you don’t know what’s changed, but you can tell that this is a different speaker to the one Youssef embodied only moments before.
Perhaps the only thing the audience are a little uncertain about is Anya, Youssef’s opening character. Yet Anya’s charming, generic Eastern European banter quickly wins the hearts of the crowd, who remain giggling steadily for the next fifty minutes.
One thing’s for sure, you should definitely Check Youssef before the end of this year’s comedy festival.
Check Youssef Before You Wreck Youssef is on at the Melbourne Town Hall until Sunday the 17th of April. Tickets range between $20 – $25, and are available online or at the box office.