Tag: Zoe Coombs Marr

Malthouse Presents WILD BORE

Frightfully funny

By Caitlin McGrane

Where to even begin with this one? My best friend and I have this long-running joke where we text each other photos of slightly out-of-place objects, like an abandoned sock on the ground or a lonely piece of graffiti on a wall, alongside the caption, ‘but is it art?’ I’m not sure quite how this started but it never fails to make me laugh. And this week while I watched Wild Bore at The Malthouse I was reminded of this joke because it seemed as though the creative minds behind this project may have been in on it as well.

Wild Bore Tim Grey Photography.jpg

The production starts with bottoms. Gloriously unfiltered female derrières proudly presented to a somewhat bemused audience. This is a show about answering your critics (or is it?) and the opening (pun 100% intended) sets the tone from the start – this is going to be fun and deeply bonkers. Zoë Coombs-Marr, Ursula Martinez and Adrienne Trustcott led us up and down on a wild, wild ride. The show is extremely visual, with most of the show a long-running graphic joke about sticking stuff up your bum. It also features probably the most wonderful and well-executed knob gag I’ve ever seen. It was amazing. I loved it.

After years of writing about film and theatre, wanting to tear my eyes out with rage and disappointment at yet another ‘sad heterosexual white boy’ play about a moody woman who just. won’t. love. him, I was practically punching the air with joy at the end of Wild Bore. I can’t count the number of times I’ve wanted to stand up in a theatre and scream ‘WHERE ARE THE WOMEN?’ and this show seemed like the perfect, jaw-achingly funny reply to this question, which is that we’re here, and we’re not fucking going anywhere.

Happily, the show didn’t feel like it had a paucity of representational identity politics, Coombs-Marr, Martinez and Trustcott spoke for themselves, on their own terms and with their own real voices. They were joined all too briefly by Krishna Istha who lit up the stage with their dazzling consciousness-raising speech demanding better treatment and representation of people of colour, trans and gender non-conforming people in the arts. I was utterly blown away by this show and am beyond thrilled to see Coombs-Marr, Istha, Martinez and Trustcott setting the bar so high for truly interesting theatre.

The show was well-supported by set and costume design from Danielle Brustman (I want a pair of those bum-less trousers to use in reply whenever men tell me to smile), sound design from Raya Slavin and lighting design from Richard Vebre truly helped sustain the laughter, while stage manager Harriet Gregory made some excellent deliberate dramaturgical decisions.

This show deserves support not just because it includes better gross-out humour than Bridesmaids but also because it makes no apologies for doing exactly what you’re ‘not supposed to do’; by answering and gently mocking critics, the performers allow us to see how ludicrously seriously we sometimes take ourselves, including the impossibly high standards we set for performers, especially women. Tearing down expectations is not the same as tearing down critics, and this show demonstrated how wonderful that can be.

Wild Bore is now showing at The Malthouse until 4 June. Tickets and more information: http://malthousetheatre.com.au/whats-on/wild-bore

Image by Tim Grey Photography

MICF 2016: Zoe Coombs Marr in TRIGGER WARNING

Strangely appealing and spectacularly funny

By Margaret Wieringa

Meet Dave. Dave is a veteran comedian, blokey as can be, who is dealing with the fallout on social media from his first comedy festival show. The Feminazis and haters have torn him down, and so he has given up stand-up for the world of mime after some serious clown training at the highly respected French  clown school, Gaulier.

Trigger Warning.jpg

From the moment Zoe Coombs Marr comes onstage as Dave, with his gross neckbeard and monobrow, she connects with the audience. And straight away, the audience is on board with the misogynist with a sensitive side. We want to hear more of his horrible jokes, we hope that he will figure out where he is taking his mime, and we quite like meeting his inner clown. Even if he thinks she is not at all funny.

The Comedy Festival runs over so many different spaces across Melbourne, some which are huge and spacious, but many are cosy (read cramped!) and oddly shaped. The Acacia Room is one of the odd ones  – long, with a relatively small stage at one end. It can be a bit tricky for the audience if you are seeing anything other than standard stand-up comedy, because if you are not in the first few rows, it’s hard to see what is happening. Zoe seemed very aware of this however, and made sure that visual gags were seen by all. Mind you, so much of the comedy came from her fabulous facial expressions – oh, that stare!

I feel like it’s going to be a long time before I recover from this show. I cannot remember a show that made me laugh so exhaustively. If you are after something absolutely hilarious that takes you on an extremely surreal journey and leaves you and everyone around you somewhat wasted, get to Victoria Hotel and check out Trigger Warning.

Where: Victoria Hotel, 215 Little Collins St Melbourne

When: Tues-Sat 9:45, Sun 8:45

Tickets: $18-25  www.comedyfestival.com.au or Ticketmaster 1300 660 013

(Suitable for audiences 18+)