Review: Volcano – Tessa Waters

3 years ago
Til Knowles

Tessa Waters has been thinking a lot about the apocalypse…

There’s a silly premise underpinning Volcano: Tessa Waters believes the apocalypse is coming, and in an effort to stay off the dinner table and in our hearts, she’s going to prove to us she’s worth keeping around. All of the audience interaction is thoroughly good-natured, as Waters plays party games and tunes the room for laughter.

Waters is a dynamic performer. Her clowning expertise combined with her improvisational nous mean that she’s constantly prepared for movement. She’s the kind of performer who repeatedly attracts the phrase ‘infectious energy’, and for good reason. Her cheerfulness spreads quickly throughout the audience, and Waters works to maintain that positivity throughout the show. It’s an energy the audience are eager to embrace, as is evidenced by their commitment to friendly competition.

Volcano does depart slightly from the full clown based humour of last year’s Fully Sik, as Waters returns to more narrative driven content. The stories sprinkled throughout Volcano are heart-felt, warm and funny, drawing on Waters’ own experiences as well as her family history. These moments are a little less developed than the other aspects of the show, but Waters strengthens her voice with her physicality, punctuating her storytelling with movement to draw the biggest laughs of the evening. Waters manages to balance a feeling of warm safety with a wild ride in which anything might happen. It’s an utterly enthralling and hilarious hour of comedy.


Volcano is on at 7:15pm at the Greek Centre until 22 April as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Tickets, show details and accessibility information are available via the MICF website.

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