Anne Edmonds: What's Wrong With You? | Melbourne International Comedy Festival review
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Anne Edmonds: What's Wrong With You?

Melbourne International Comedy Festival review

‘Why am I the one on a mental health plan?’ Anne Edmonds wants to know.

The Melbourne comedy stalwart has always been upfront about her own issues, flippantly mentioning the time ‘I lost me marbies’ with as much consequence as if she was talking about the weather.

But this year the main focus of her rumbustious comedy is the ‘self-involved arseholes’ she encounters… and whom she believes might benefit from some professional treatment of their own.

What’s Wrong With You? was inspired by a road-rage incident that has clearly preyed on her mind ever since it happened. Frank an arrogant, puce-faced misogynist, raged baselessly at Edmonds’ driving… before parking his own 4x4 (a signifier of the conceited if ever there was one) in the way of ambulances at the hospital where her father was being treated.

While this show is closure for the fight she never won, it’s clear Frank is also a cypher for entitlement in general, with Eddo wondering how anyone can be so certain in life, especially when they are so desperately wrong.

The premise gives an edge to her routines about offenders minor and major: self-important airline passengers, internet trolls, gaslighting partners, or those who deploy the passive-aggressive cry ‘you do you’ rather than address any valid criticism – not to mention more high-profile, and dangerous, idiots.

Though it’s easy to mock reactionaries, Eddo does it so well, while appreciating that the liberals who hitched their wagons to the same ideological cause as her are hardly faultless either.

Any form of fundamentalism is skewered, while the less said about the guy who thought a ukulele was an appropriate addition to any gathering, let alone a yoga class, the better.

Righteous grumpiness is always a strong driver for stand-up, and Edmonds embraces her inner grouch for these pointed stories while retaining her disarming self-deprecation.

The narrative is entirely based on first-hand experiences, and it’s clear some of her encounters with the self-involved alphas of the world have affected her own personality and confidence, so relating the rants to the personal gives them added impetus.

What’s Wrong With You? is delivered in a loose and charming way - if occasionally too loose as she gets distracted by audience interjections or doesn’t quite land the gag. But there is a subtle substance behind her casual style and peeved takedowns, as well as the engaging stories which contain then.

Review date: 7 Apr 2019
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Melbourne International Comedy Festival

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