Tag: Claire Healy

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2017: IMPURE THOUGHTS

Devilishly cheeky

By Myron My

There are times when we find ourselves in situations where our internal voice is saying something completely different to our external one. This is usually because our true thoughts would be something unacceptable, rude or improper. In her latest show presented as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Claire Healy’s Impure Thoughts delves into these urges one by one in a night of striking music and appealing storytelling.

Impure Thoughts.jpg

It’s been over a year since I last saw Healy perform and in that time, it appears she has gone through some form of exciting transformation, as she seems to have really found her voice with Impure Thoughts. It’s loud and commanding, and I was struck by the subtle differences she incorporated into each song.  Her opening number, sung in French, is a powerful beginning, and despite not all understanding the language, her audience are still able to deduce what is being shared.

Healy’s affable nature is evident as she shares anecdotes, from her stint working as a performer in nursing homes in England, to her annoyance at Facebook’s targeted marketing. While the links between story and song were not always clear or strong, both were still highly entertaining.

The show never get too nasty or tries to deal with taboo subject matters, which is in line with Healy’s quirky humour and cheerful view of the world. Even when her rage and frustrations are legitimate, Healy makes sure that the tone of the show is kept light-hearted and fun, such as lampooning an article published in 1895 listing the forty-one don’ts for female cyclists, to highlight enduring issues of sexism and misogyny.

Impure Thoughts might not be as scandalous or salacious as the show title might suggest, but Healy has ensured that we are kept smiling throughout the cabaret. It’s an evening of great songs, clever writing and some excellent wide-eye stares.

Venue: Tasma Terrace, 6 Parliament Place, Melbourne.
Season: until 22 April | Mon – Sat 8:00pm (no shows 14 -1 7 April)
50 minutes
Tickets: $25.30 Full | $20.30 Conc | $18.30 Tightarse Tuesday
Bookings: MICF website


Quirky comic charm with cabaret combo

By Myron My

On stage for the first time together with their first-ever full length cabaret show Strangely Flamboyant, Claire Healy (Flamboyant: Like a Flame but Buoyant) and Strangely (Roaring Accordion) deliver an entertaining evening consisting of a mis- mash of clever and humorous performances, dialogue and songs.

Strangely Flamboyant

The two establish great camaraderie and bounce off each other well in repartee. Their ad-libbing with one another and with the audience allows their distinct personalities to shine through during the show and for a stronger relationship with us to be formed. This is further strengthened by the intimacy that the performance space at The Butterfly Club creates, so Healy and Strangely can connect with us very quickly.

Both performers have strong dynamic voices and they mix well together and with the accompanying instruments played throughout Strangely Flamboyant: the accordion, the ukulele and the bells. However, I would have loved to see more songs where they both let themselves go. At times, it seemed that just when they were about to transport us with their music or vocals, they pulled back. I especially felt this with Healy’s singing, of which I really wanted to hear more.

The show is filled with numerous genuinely lovely moments, such as when Healy and Strangely perform a song with a variety of bells as the music. The novelty coupled with some audience inclusion in the bell-playing and the sincerity of the lyrics make this number the highlight of this show.

Despite one or two moments that get a little flat, there are plenty of entertaining songs and interactions to make Strangely Flamboyant a whimsical cabaret worth seeing. The long applause at the end of the show was certainly well deserved and I will be eagerly anticipating this duo’s next creation.

Venue: The Butterfly Club, 256 Collins St, Melbourne

Season: Until 8 February | Thurs-Sat 9:00pm, Sunday 8:00pm

Tickets: $32 Full | $28 Conc

Bookings: http://www.thebutterflyclub.com

REVIEW: Give My Regards To Broady

Trendy topical music theatre for all you Melbournites

By Bradley Storer

At the beginning of the show, the stage at Theatreworks is set up like the lounge room of a northern Melbourne share-house: strewn with the debris of the night before, accumulated mess, milk crate furniture and the bodies of several cast members.

Like the other work with which it shares the double-bill, Housewarming, Give My Regards To Broady is a musical dedicated to the mixed blessings and tribulations of youth through the experience of house-sharing.

The plot of Broady revolves around the daily lives and trials of a group of performing arts graduates all desperate for their big breaks and forced to find some way of co-existing peacefully. There’s Karin (Claire Healy), the lazy and poverty-stricken song-writer from Broadmeadows, her delightfully camp housemate and song-writing partner James (Leigh Jay Booth), a theatre-restaurant worker obsessed with celebrity networking, their friend Erin (Lauren Murtagh), a vainglorious South Melbourne heiress, and her ’accessory’ Luke (Joe Kosky). Lurking in the background is the rest of Karin’s housemates/backing band, with amusing interjections and intrusions from multi-instrumentalist Emma Muiznieks.

Broady is a love letter from its creators Karin Muiznieks and James Simpson, firstly to the enthusiasm and courage of young people who choose to work in the arts industry; when asked to compare her life with that of a Third-World child she sponsors, the character Karin counters ‘he doesn’t work in the arts!’.

Secondly to musical theatre itself, signalled by the posters of Sweeney Todd, Hairspray, Chicago and many other productions decorating the walls of the house. Muiznieks and Simpson play with standard musical tropes, amongst other things hilariously parodying the love duets of classic Broadway musicals and play out a wickedly vicious West Side Story-style scrag fight.

Lastly to the city of Melbourne itself, with songs devoted to topics like Melbourne Cup Day hook-ups, Crown Casino, half-built Ferris wheels – one song shows the characters trying to illustrate their relationships by comparing them to the qualities of different suburbs.

After a slow start, the show picks up strength and energy as soon as the first musical number appears. The four leads, under the direction of Scott Gooding, are all uniformly strong – the standouts are Murtagh and Kosky, who are given several moments to shine in numbers like ‘Erin’s Turn’ and the show finale. Healy and Booth ably handle the weight of keeping the show’s plot moving through several twists and turns with enthusiasm and flair. Give My Regards to Broady is an uproarious night at the theatre for music theatre lovers,  Melbournites who love their local references and for anyone in general who enjoys a good laugh.

Dates: 28 Nov – Dec 10 at Theatre Works, St Kilda
Times: Nov 30 to Dec 3 at 7:00pm / Dec 5-10 at 8:45pm