Fiona Scott-Norman: Disco – The Vinyl Solution

Note: This review is from 2012

Review by Steve Bennett

In a show that’s more essay than stand-up routine, Fiona Scott-Norman advances the little-herd thesis that the changing face of dance music is hugely detrimental to society.

But bear with her, as her arguments are persuasive. Courtship is no longer about witty conversation and nifty moves with your partner on the dance floor. Instead, repetitive, thumping, electronic music in clubs and bars negates communication; dancing either involves no physical contact or borderline sexual assault; and the pounding bpms send drunk men out into the streets horny and angry. It all adds up to a more antisocial world.

During the course of the intelligently thought-through hour, Scott-Norman demonstrates some of the lost arts, from tap to swing. Yet in her monologue, she is much less light on her feet.

As an experienced and eclectic DJ, she knows her stuff, but the script is frequently clunky, feeling a little too much like a self-consciously ‘written’ piece, perhaps belying her journalistic background. Quips that work on the page can seem forced on the stage.

She over-uses the device of substituting a metaphor based on a popular cultural reference for a joke. Her gags are about as diverse as Andrew Bolt’s Christmas card list. That’s the sort of structure that should definitely be used more sparingly.

Directed by Tim Ferguson of the Doug Anthony All-Stars, the narrative is broken up with Scott-Norman’s dance numbers and gruesome and inspiring YouTube clips, from the pedophilic dream of sexed-up seven-year-olds dancing to Beyonce to disco-dancing at Auschwitz. These run on too long, but serve as useful punctuation.

Scott-Norman’s delivery can be hesitant, too – even this late in the festival she seems to be struggling to recall sections of that carefully-penned script – although when she’s on top of it, she makes her point eloquently.

There’s an intelligent argument here, on a subject she honestly cares about, illustrated with a smattering of dryly funny lines. But in the execution, the Vinyl Solution could do with a remix.

Reviewed at the Melbourne Comedy Festival, April 2011

Review date: 1 Jan 2012
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

What do you think?

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.