Simon Wright took the audience on a journey from being an old grandmother talking about her grandson, to a chicken who’d been Totally Plucked.
Simon Wright as ‘Granny’ did her own front of house, collecting everyone’s tickets and greeting everyone at the front door, which was a nice introduction to the venue. Granny made sure that everyone had some scones that she had baked and some bingo cards for the bingo game that was part of the show. These greetings from Granny were a nice touch making everyone laugh and feel welcome.
Audience members found a table to sit at, lights were dimmed and Granny made her way to the stage. Struggling to get up the steps to the stage, she had audience members laughing as she called out “Helppp! Sweetie!” to a male audience member. He got up on stage and helped Granny get up on stage. Granny welcomed everyone to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and gave a brief history of the Melba Spiegeltent where the show was being held. She then did her first trick, pulling a jar of bingo balls from under her dress, then we started playing bingo. She called her ‘sweetie’ up on stage again to spin the balls and the crowd involvement in playing bingo made everyone feel included. The bingo ended up being a joke with Granny being the only winner, but then she and Sweetie did another trick, getting a Scotch Finger biscuit from their forehead to their mouth.
Once that trick was over, Granny had a fake dying segment where she called Sweetie up on stage once again. This consistency in crowd interaction with this one individual was hilarious and the crowd got used to the characters and idiosyncrasies of Granny and how she interacted with people.
Granny decided that she was tired of being old and wanted to be young again. She transformed from a grandmother to a chicken throughout the second half of the show with music remixes blaring and performing tricks with hula hoops, juggling, dancing on a treadmill and riding a unicycle as she went along. The transformation from a grandmother to a chicken did not make complete sense, however, but it was funny and the audience laughed along at the jokes. Even with prop malfunctions, Wright did not stop this from putting on his best show, made jokes out of it, getting everyone laughing and carried on.
Wright, as a chicken, gradually got more and more naked and finally at the end of the show, proclaimed that he was “totally plucked”.
By Ellen Pritchard