Bronwyn Kuss: Sounds Good | Melbourne International Comedy Festival review
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Bronwyn Kuss: Sounds Good

Melbourne International Comedy Festival review

World-weary beyond her years. Bronwyn Kuss is a dry and deadpan storyteller. Yet despite the lack of energy, she effortlessly holds the audience’s attention with her low-key stories of growing up in a bogan-adjacent family in regional Queensland.

We come to feel that we know her emotionally detached father, the hordes of aunties providing much of the local prison workforce, the tribulations of being a closeted lesbian at high school and, coming more up to date, the perils of dating in a relatively small pool.

Her unfussy stories are all told with a wry wit. That we start with a quip about infant mortality that’s sardonic rather than offensive sets the well-judged mood. And while her delivery seems laid-back, it conceals the fact she’s honed her anecdotes until they are at their most effective.

The stories are distinctive but relatable. Few of us can be dating someone whose ex is going to the Moon, but it’s the sort of weird experience that seems a regular part of the comedian’s life, so we understand.

Her semi-detached delivery, sometimes accompanied by a glazed look into the middle distance, further emphasises that Kuss is a slightly off-centre character. Yet there’s also a gentle warmth to her persona and her frank storytelling that elicits empathy.

As well as the more personal yarns, Kuss has takes on common tropes that are out of the ordinary – arguing, for instance, that far-right politician Pauline Hanson, who’s from the same town, was merely ahead of her time, or suggesting that if she were able to go back in time to meet baby Hitler, it wouldn’t be to kill him.

Her tale of her family first getting the internet summons a hilariously silly image, while a few rug-pulls keep the audience on their toes. A subtle anti-homophobic thread runs through some of the stories. However, it’s not a strident message – but emerges because the audience are always rooting for Kuss, whose no-frills honesty makes her eminently likeable.

Sounds Good is only her second show – her first having earned a best newcomer nomination last year – and already she’s established herself as a charming and witty raconteur.

Bronwyn Kuss: Sounds Good is on at The Westin Hotel at 7.40pm (6.40pm Sundays, no show Monday) until April 23

Review date: 16 Apr 2023
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Melbourne International Comedy Festival

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