Comedy Review: Melanie Bracewell

Melanie Bracewell.jpg

By Andra Jenkin

Date / Venue Tuesday May 15th, 2018 - Basement Theatre, Auckland

This isn’t going to be one of those reviews where I can rely on banging on about lighting, sound, props and costumes to make the word count. It was a bare bones set at the Basement Theatre, where the black room was lit with a simple neon sign with ‘Melodrama’ on it. There was some music at the start, she used one prop minimally and wore a dress.

The rest of the show was Melanie Bracewell and a microphone. Stand-up comedy at its purest. So now it’s just going to be me and a thesaurus, up all night trying to figure out how many different ways to say she is freaking hilarious.

She’s the kind of super talented that’s hard to ignore. It makes perfect sense that she makes regular appearances on The Project, and on 7 Days, where she’s also a writer. That she was a star from the start, winning the Raw Comedy Quest Comedian of the Year in 2015, and the Best Newcomer award in last year’s festival.  I would be wildly unsurprised if this, her second solo show, Melodrama, wins her the Billy T award this year, it would be well deserved.

With all that she's achieved we’re all shocked she’s only 22 years old. She brings an incredible maturity to the stage, crafting a show that entirely relies on the material for laughs and delivers them. Ten minutes in and I’m laughing so hard I’m crying and my eye-liner is running down my face. I don’t even care; the show is just too good to worry about it.

Bracewell is natural and engaging, ironic considered she is known for her awkward stage persona. She’s great at audience work, and right away we all trust her, and love her and want to be her bestie. But don’t mistake her friendly demeanour for being a pushover, she is brave and savage.

If you want to know if Melanie Bracewell will throw her entire family under the bus for a laugh, she will. While they watch, and laugh too. These people are very good sports, and they have to be, because Bracewell is clearly a comedian for whom getting that laugh is all important. Good news for you watching the show, but not so much for uncle Rod.

This is a woman who will talk about porn in front of her parents, and it’s wonderful. She should demand that they come to every show, because it added a whole new comedic element. This is a game she is good at and she’s levelling up.

She’s mastered the call back and knows exactly how far to push it. Her performance is flawless and funny and relaxed. She’s got this. Treat yourself and get to her show, you won't regret it. She’s hysterical, comical, riotous, entertaining, mirthful and side-splitting.