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Re...Tale: Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Tim Potter

Having proven their material at the Melbourne Fringe Festival in 2008, actors Katrina Mroz and Hayley Butcher bring their exciting and energetic production to the studios of St Martins Arts Centre. Their show Re…Tale is prescribed to anyone who ‘has worked in retail or been harassed by those who do’ and works to provide an amusing insight into the vacuous world of commercial image and sales
<i>Re...Tale</i>: Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Re…Tale: Melbourne International Comedy Festival Having proven their material at the Melbourne Fringe Festival in 2008, actors Katrina Mroz and Hayley Butcher bring their exciting and energetic production to the studios of St Martins Arts Centre. Their show Re…Tale is prescribed to anyone who ‘has worked in retail or been harassed by those who do’ and works to provide an amusing insight into the vacuous world of commercial image and sales. Upon the walls of the St. Martins foyer I happened to note the organisation’s past alumni and couldn’t help but identify a correlation between these young performers and two of the centre’s most successful past students. Mroz and Butcher gelled like a funky Gina Riley and Jane Turner, riffing off each other with slick precision and providing genuinely funny material. They’ve developed over-the-top characters, who in a similar vein to the style of Kath and Kim, exploit the clichés, rituals and vernacular of Australian contemporary culture. The two talented performers completely inhabit the material and highlight a world that is bursting with comedic potential. Butcher is brilliant as Dash, creating a character with extraordinary physicality, looking like a cross between a Barbie Doll and a life-sized Thunderbirds figurine. She offers true vulnerability as the innocent co-worker who pines for Mr Right, whilst Mroz proves a great sparring partner in D’Bree. Mroz brings a dogged assurance to the stage and elicits some big laughs, especially when simulating even bigger sexual conquests and drawing attention to her ‘flaps’. The show truly excites when the two work in quick succession and deliver dialogue in rapid-fire. They never lose track of the audience, including them as customers within their outlet, whilst the architecture of the stage allows the audience to be both participant and voyeur. At times the narrative trajectory of the show loses clarity, not helped by a slowing down in rhythm. However, this is a minor issue that should resolve itself further into the season. The inclusion of rap, dance and solo performance sustains the patrons energy and attention. Both Butcher and Mroz are exciting comedic talents and it will be interesting to watch their progression. If Riley and Turner’s original 90’s launch pads, such as Fast Forward and Full Frontal were still in existence, these two performers could easily take their place alongside their pioneers. Re…Tale: Melbourne International Comedy Festival Performed by Katrina Mroz and Hayley Butcher Produced and Directed by Anniene Stockton Lighting Designer - Marcus Byron Dean Mather - Stage Manager Josh Cameron - Image and Sound Design Date: 15 - 25 April Times: Wed-Sat 9.15pm Duration: 60 minutes Venue: St Martins Irene Mitchell Studio * 44 St Martins Lane, South Yarra Prices Full $22 Concession $18 Group (8 or more) $16 Laugh Pack $16

About the author

Tim Potter is a contributor to ArtsHub and a local Melbourne artist and resident.

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