Alex Hines: Putting On A Show | Melbourne International Comedy Festival review
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Alex Hines: Putting On A Show

Melbourne International Comedy Festival review

Putting On A Show? She sure is…

Alex Hines – a self-professed ‘girl from Brisbane trying to make it in the big smoke’ – throws all manner of comedy styles at this ambitious, messy, but intriguing hour. Personal stand-up, singing, dancing, mime, impressions, crowd work, absurd flights of fantasy, anti-fast-fashion polemic – she’s got a talent for them all. Even a fart joke which may or may not change the entire course of human history.

This is all bundled into a uniquely bizarre show that unfolds over a series of interwoven timelines, some absurd, some corny, and some mysterious with a paranormal undertone. 

The resultant intriguing mess seems to be her peculiar way of dealing with the childhood trauma of being briefly strangled by her umbilical cord at birth – which she doesn’t remember – and of a troubling incident involving a McDonald’s mascot, which she most definitely does since it still haunts her dreams.

Visit Melbourne Melbourne International Comedy FestivvalMelbourne International Comedy Festiva news and reviews with Visit VictoriaPutting On A Show is also partly an expression of Hines’ ADHD, diagnosed ‘before everyone in the Inner North was using it as a pronoun’. Here, she allows her brain to be as screwy as she likes, but with the myriad, disjointed ideas rammed into a narrative, however unlikely, to keep her on track. 

That’s why it’s stylistically all over the place and why some of the more insane strands need time to make sense. But eventually, a through-line emerges. and all the while Hines’s unhinged charisma  keeps this madness on its tracks.

 She owns the stage (and occasionally the screen, too) with a commanding presence, solid theatrical talent, and a touch of madness that transfixes, even when some individual scenes seem self-indulgent. She’s funny ha-ha as well as funny peculiar, with proper jokes peppering the absurdity.

To say that it all ultimately makes sense would be an overstatement, but some of it does – and the fact that this enjoyable charabanc was inspired by nuggets of truth helps ground the insanity.  

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Review date: 22 Apr 2024
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Melbourne International Comedy Festival

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