Mel Buttle performs Buttle & Buttle
Mel Buttle has appeared on Nova with Dave Thornton and stages all over the country. One perk of pursuing her dreams is that she gets to live with her Dad, Barry (in the early days, what comedy enhances in fun it depletes in fiscal terms). Her new show, Buttle & Buttle tells the stories of this long-standing cohabitation and strangely, advocates for living with your parents.
Buttle doesn’t bemoan her residential arrangement; in fact she’s doing show to celebrate it. “I really do live with him. He’s 60 and I don’t think of him as my Dad, I think of him as my 60-year-old flatmate who happens to be related to me who owns the place that we live in,” she says.
While it might sound like a ruse for show fodder, Buttle insists, “All stories in my show are completely true. I’ve only ever lived out of home recently just for a little time but I’ve pretty much never left home properly.” Whilst they’re far outweighed by the positives, there are a few draw-backs to living with your father, most obviously, the possibility of gentleman callers. “That is impossible. We have no gentleman callers at hour house, no,” says Buttle. In fact even her dad goes out to visit his significant other. “I basically get Saturday nights to myself in the house. My Dad goes over to his lady friend’s house and I am at home by myself and I have the whole house to myself until Sunday morning I go nuts: I drink red cordial, I rollerskate on the carpet… it’s out of control.”
Buttle has recently introduced a beau to her father, with curious results. “I’m dating someone at the moment and he’s met my Dad and my Dad just spent the entire time telling him about he digital radio he had bought and how it works inside the house but not outside the house. Dad stood there with the radio in his ears going, ‘see – outside doesn’t work and I step inside – and it works!’ and that was basically the meeting.”
There are upsides to living with your parents though, insists Buttle. “The benefits are you get to borrow the car whenever you like. The other benefit is my costs are… as long as I bring home a carton of milk once a week, that’s basically my only cost. Sometimes I come home and I’ve been to gigs away and my room has been cleaned and my bed has been made in military style because my dad’s ex-navy and all the rubbish in my room will be packed up, so yeah I’m basically a child; I’m a child that’s sometimes allowed to do talking on the radio.”
Mel Buttle performs Buttle & Buttle at Melbourne Town Hall’s Lunch Room from March 31 – April 24. It’s at 8.15pm Tuesday – Saturday and 7.15pm on Sundays. Tickets are $20 - $22 and available through Ticketmaster online, 1300 660 013 and at the door.