Review: Just Doing It, MICF

A relaxed, conversational, up-and-coming Australian comedian, fresh off a UK tour, Tresidder clearly relishes audience engagement.
Review: Just Doing It, MICF

Emily Tresidder.

Emily Tresidder can hold a stage. A relaxed, conversational, up-and-coming Australian comedian, fresh off a UK tour, Tresidder clearly relishes audience engagement, as evident in her flexible openness to wild suggestion. Her strongest moments are when she departs from script and improvises based on crowd interaction.

Just Doing It commenced with her ‘party trick’, (gleaned from years working in a shoe store), where she invites audience members to hold up their feet so she can guess their shoe size. It is an absurd and clever ice-breaker, amiably managed, and Tresidder is always in control of the room. If you’re afraid of ‘being picked on’ sitting in the front at stand-up, don’t be – Tresidder keeps things warm and the tone light. Even when she has you in her sights, her gentle teasing recalls that of a fondly remembered preschool teacher or older sister’s best friend.

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Tresidder serves observational comedy about straight relationship dynamics, telling us how she recently moved to Melbourne and in with her partner. ‘Daddy issues’ lurk in the background, yet she never allows herself to stray far to the dark side. A Hannah Gadsby special this certainly is not. When acid notes do creep into the material – especially when she riffs on her absent father and his choice of new young Russian bride – Tresidder’s confident delivery hits it out of the park. Her self-deprecating jabs about Millennials, and stealing from the self-checkout at Coles, likewise hit marks but for the most part Tresidder treads non-threatening, morning radio-flavoured ‘battle-of-the-sexes’ territory. She wins laughs from the many couples in the crowd with her personal notes on the squabbles of domesticity, chores, and romantic miscommunication.

This is a smooth flowing and well-connected production and Tresidder possesses a knack for circling back and picking up the strands. She is an unflappable, Seinfeld-style raconteur; likeably talking about not much of substance.

Indeed, Just Doing It is almost retro comedy in its inherited avoidance of politics and its ginger sidestepping of any tension-charged gender commentary. Tresidder provides an evening of broad-brush, wide-appeal anecdotes that don’t feel purposefully kinetic or particularly structurally climactic but it’s in the off-the-cuff banter that her quick-wit, physical charisma, and spontaneity shine.  

3 stars
★★★

Just Doing It

Emily Tresidder 

28 March - 21 April 2019

Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Anna Westbrook

Tuesday 9 April, 2019

About the author

Anna Westbrook is a Melbourne-based writer, poet, and lecturer with an interest in the arts, culture, food, and politics. Her debut novel, Dark Fires Shall Burn, was published by Scribe in 2016. She has appeared at the Sydney Writers’ Festival, Emerging Writers’ Festival, and the New South Wales Writing Centre. Follow Anna on Instagram: @menagerie