Gluttony’s Pigtails, Wed Mar 4
Alice Fraser was already on stage as the audience filed in to her show, welcoming us and settling us in with a bit of chat. In this unofficial prologue, she mentioned a back-handed compliment that had left her reeling, from a woman who enjoyed the show and then said ‘It’s not really comedy though, is it?’
I have sympathy with both parties, which prompted me to look up a definition of comedy: ‘a piece characterized by its humorous or satirical tone and its depiction of amusing people or incidents, in which the characters ultimately triumph over adversity. It may involve unhappy outcomes for some of the characters’.
This is not buffoonish slapstick, it may not leave you gasping for breath but Fraser’s merciless scrutiny of her slide down the greasy pole of success certainly has the power to induce shocked laughter in recognition of outrageous behaviour. The character of her mentor, David, was a sharp reminder that psychopaths are strongly represented among the legal profession. I looked forward to his every startlingly awful pronouncement.
The show is complex. Fraser has narrated a timeline of incidents before and after joining The Firm, charting the disintegration of her confidence and composure with apparent detachment. Rather like a legal Bridget Jones, there are chapter headings, here voiced by a man who possibly didn’t know his significance in her story.
Her restrained delivery, her apparent high status and wintery composure were initially hard to warm to but as she shed her defences along with her restrictive lawyerly costume I ended up rooting for her bravery and vulnerability. The show is scattered with learning and painfully funny insights where even the smartest people are tripped up by the pressured expectations of contemporary life. Riveting.
Alice Fraser: Everyone’s A Winner continues at Gluttony’s Pigtails from 6.20pm until Sun Mar 15.
Book at FringeTIX on 1300 621 255or adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.