Fringe Review: The Comediettes - Better Living

Published: Fri 19 Feb 2010 12:42 PM
The Comediettes - Better LivingReview by Ali Little

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Better Living
The Comediettes
17-20 February, 8.30pm
Fringe Bar, Cnr Cuba & Vivian St
Tickets: $15/12/10
Show Duration: 1 hour
Comedians Sarah Harpur and Jim Stanton gild their well-paced two-woman standup show with the trappings of crazed 1950s housewives, complete with cheerful aprons and diazepam-bright smiles. Both use skewed anecdotes of their country-girl childhoods as a starting point for comedy, but have styles sufficiently different for the effect to be one of harmony rather than repetition.
Stanton's humour is mostly wry and self-directed. She shares an epic song of angst from her teenagehood, dances with delicious awkwardness, and reflects on the way that relationships mellow over time from romance to comfort. Her stage persona is smart and likable, with just enough bitter to balance the sweet.
Harpur, as always, delights in playing with darker humour, teasing the audience with word play that goes close to the edge without quite tripping over it. She sings a cheerfully brutal tribute to a lamb that is about to become chops, and mocks cherished institutions such as motherhood and whale conservation.
While the show's structure gives both women space to shine alone, the well-polished set pieces when both are on stage are also very enjoyable. Harpur uses her comedic guitar skills to fine effect while Stanton provides sterling ukulele support; both have pleasant voices and interact charmingly. Some of the clever lyrics were occasionally lost to the audience, particularly during the opening sequence. However to be fair, this was mostly because the audience were already laughing hard at a previous clever line.
The duo are reported to be off the Adelaide Festival next; where I expect their polished faux-country humour will go down a treat.
Better Living! press release
Scoop Full Coverage: Fringe 2010

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