Melanie Bracewell: Attack of the Melanie Bracewell | Melbourne International Comedy Festival review
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Melanie Bracewell: Attack of the Melanie Bracewell

Melbourne International Comedy Festival review

Prepare to be captivated by the intricately woven narrative of Melanie Bracewell’s show, artfully constructed around her relatively simple quest to recover her stolen, trackable, AirPods but expertly weaving together so many comic strands.

On a personal level, the Kiwi comedian and reigning Taskmaster New Zealand champion has vowed to stop being so meek and unleash her hidden rage. She has a fear of confrontation and a tendency to see the best in people, both of which she’s going to have to overcome if she’s to confront this earphone felon.

Tagged on to this are anecdotes about disparate subjects from IUD contraception to Hot Cross Buns, water bottles to social netball teams. Yet the narrative is always compellingly fluid and full of callbacks to comments that seemed like casual asides at the time.

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Her storytelling skills are phenomenal, and we end up fully invested in the tale of her missing belongings as she pieces together a picture of the thief. When she finally heads to where the AirPods are, with fellow comic Urzila Carlson as her back-up muscle, the room is on tenterhooks as to the result. And yes, there’s a final twist in the tale.

As well as the well-polished central elements, Attack Of The Melanie Bracewell also incorporates some top-flight, off-the-cuff teasing of her front row, and a slew of local references, including a cracking pun about a particular Melbourne bar. 

This is a smart comic who’s more than happy to abandon her intelligence to add goofy one-liners to her witty observations and engaging first-hand anecdotes – anything to ensure we’re only ever seconds away from the next laugh.

There is a bit of grit to some of those punchlines, too, as she’s not quite as tame as she portrays herself – just one more example of not everything being quite what it seems from this accomplished comedian.

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Review date: 17 Apr 2024
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Melbourne International Comedy Festival

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