Kate Dehnert: Pony Yell | Melbourne International Comedy Festival review by Steve Bennett

Kate Dehnert: Pony Yell

Note: This review is from 2015

Melbourne International Comedy Festival review by Steve Bennett

With this bit of nonsense about a lazy postie and her long-suffering pony, Kate Dehnert boasts all the storytelling techniques of a seven-year-old.

It is a linear yarn of ‘and then this happened, and then this happened, and then this happened, and then this happened’ that takes in a magical world of rock monsters, the International Space Station, wormholes in space-time sucking people into computer screens, snakes, geese, ants and a ‘mentally unhinged’ DJ.

Yet for all the flighty nonsense of the strange plot, the show contains some delightful moments and funny interludes, all performed with an disarmingly unselfconscious energy that buoys you along on its tide of goodwill.

Although it seems like a random stream-of consciousness, Dehnert synchronises with a tight soundtrack that offers silly jingles, backing tracks for her raps and cheery songs, and both a voiceover guy and a montage guy, with whom she interacts.

There’s no cynicism in the story – even if there is a touch of darkness. The fact the central pony is doing literally back-breaking work is bleak; while the ruby miner, irrepressibly chipper even as she meets her awful end, best illustrates Dehnert’s lightness of touch even when some of the ideas, such as the Gravity parody, can appear a bit forced.

She has a child character called Giblets, whose optimistic ‘gee whizz’ nativity in the face of adversity is more than a little reminiscent of South Park’s Butters, and probably best reflects Dehnert’s infectiously upbeat approach. She’s having fun acting out this strange world she’s created, and it would be churlish not to join her.

Show Pony is certainly rough around the edges, but nothing a steady director and some sharpening up of her acting and singing skills couldn’t fix. The quirky originality and broad scope of Dehnert’s inspiration suggests this young comic, just a year off making the state finals of the Raw new act competition, has something to different to offer the comedy scene.

Review date: 14 Apr 2015
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Melbourne International Comedy Festival

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