Beauty Queen at the Melbourne Fringe Festival
Wed 04 Oct 2023 - Sun 15 Oct 2023
The talented Emily Carr as Narcissus
I have a very low bar for fringe comedy.
After having had the pleasure of watching the enigmatic Oliver Cowen gobble boiled eggs whilst dressed as a lizard during last year’s Fringe show Foible Boible
, I wasn’t really sure what to expect walking into Emily Carr’s one woman show.
Aptly named, Beauty Queen
is a show about the Greek Goddess Narcissus entering the Ms World Australia beauty pageant. From the onset, Carr is compelling as the legendary Narcissus who, like her namesake, falls in love with her own reflection. Cue the Savage Garden soundtrack.
As expected with any pageant, there is a medley of overzealous contestants vying for the Ms World crown including Connie, the protagonist to our antagonist, an ugly duckling turned plastic surgery enhanced beauty queen who would stop at nothing to beat Narcissus at her own game.
Throw in some nefarious judges, vapid responses to the Q&A segment from the Brissie contestant and an impossibly perfect AI generated beauty queen and you’re guaranteed to have a rollicking good time.
Equal parts hilarious and enthralling, I was impressed by Emily Carr’s confident portrayal of both characters and the thoughtfully written monologue - it wouldn’t be a Fringe event without a feminist perspective on the ever-constricting nature of the world that women are forced to inhabit but this is respectfully done without being alienating to the males in the audience. At least, it didn’t seem to faze my male friends who had come along to support my Fringe addiction.
Ultimately, Beauty Queen
is a savage and comedic exploration of society’s obsession with beauty. There are lots of laugh out loud moments, (the venue has) beers on tap and answers to life’s tough questions: (To quote the judge), “Would ya rather be hot and dumb or smart and ugly?”
Writer: Emily Carr
Performer: Emily Carr
Director: Jackson McGovern
Lighting designer: Jackson McGovern
Sound design: Samuel Boyd and Jackson McGovern
Set design: Jackson McGovern
Dramaturg: Meg Ham
Physical/Character Consultant - Fabio Motta
Original Music composed by Samuel Boyd
265859 - 2023-10-09 11:01:33