Writer, photographer, educator, explorer of places new, with a passion for adding fun back into life.
Emperor of her Empire
Alice Fraser has been described as 'reliably silly, unpredictably meaningful, narratively unorthodox, [who delivers] gut-punch comedy'. She has performed all around Australia, as well as in London, New York, Damascus and at the Edinburgh Fringe. Alice has a string of degrees, including a law degree. Her writing has won awards. I anticipated a clever, witty performance that would tickle my funny bone and tantalise my cerebral cortex. I was not disappointed.
Alice's show, Empire is held in The Niche, an upstairs intimate performance room, at The Producers Hotel in Grenfell Street. It is an interactive show. Sitting in the front row will almost certainly guarantee you some time in the limelight. Lime isn't my colour so we sat in the second row. The second row is reserved for 'moral cowards', we soon learnt. Alice revealed many personal experiences from her early childhood and na´ve adolescence on her journey to becoming street smart Emperor. Drawing in the audience with questions of love and loss created connections and a relaxed relationship where stories of pain were flipped to hilarity.
The Producers Hotel. Photograph by JA Rossiter.
Alice always wanted to be the Emperor as a child, a position of great power. She explores who has the power - the hero or the villain. The answer to this puzzle is one of many clever intellectual observations. You may come away with your head buzzing like a fizzy cocktail of new ingredients. Alice has an unusual Superpower. I'm not sure how it helps her or where it is hidden. Perhaps it is located in the shoulder pads of her costume. Her costume design request was to resemble a cross between a warrior and a spaceship. Her script travelled from childhood to dating, kids with power to Disney villains, taboo topics to serious geeks; all flavoured with a dash of psychology. No matter how much she talked about power, the lure of freedom was still present. Fast and funny lyrics accompanied by Alice on banjo was a pleasurable conclusion to the night.
Alice interacted with openness; spontaneous, articulate intellect and jest throughout the show. After the laughter abated, serious thought-provoking social issues remained. When Alice becomes Emperor, we can hope that humour will form a bond that unites a caring and compassionate world.
We caught up with Alice after the show and discussed how she had turned her back on a corporate law life of power in exchange for a comedian's freedom. The assertion that comedy opens a door for the audience to hear other ideas, shows she is well aware of the power of speech still present in her life of freedom.
This show contains strong language and adult and wacky themes.