Aridhi Anderson is a theatremaker, performer and reviewer based in Melbourne. Check out her work at aridhianderson.com.
Quirky stand up performed with a double bass called Terry
When a comedy show begins with a young knight performing a striptease on stage next to a double bass, you know you're in for something different. Our knight for the night is Taco, a self-assured and entertaining musician/stand up comedian whose knight costume entails a metal breastplate, a jacket, and a colander for a helmet. She ditches those things pretty early on in the show, and makes no reference to knights again until the end.
A Knight's Taco is a show about the performer, Taco, and her various life experiences that she's written songs about. It's a quirky and random show; surprisingly light considering how personal it is. Taco introduces us to her double bass, Terry, who is trying to find himself a date, and springboards off that into stories about her own relationship history. She then tells us about her experience working in hospitality, and sings about things she always wanted to say to her boss in person, but didn't get a chance. My favourite songs in the show were some of her later ones, including one about inspirational quotes in diaries (random but very funny), and the finale, a touching song about growing up. Another song which ended up being a real highlight was a rap battle parody, which involved some fun lighting effects by Sandro Falce on tech, and help from two audience volunteers (who were generously given an opportunity to say no, but they both said yes and did great).
Taco's performance style is unorthodox and authentic, and has a refreshing feel to it. She is clearly comfortable being herself, and is not afraid to voice her opinions, which is fun. She warns her double bass Terry about Marxists who could be hiding anywhere, and about feminists who might murder him if he isn't more respectful (cheekily referencing another show at the same venue). About her musical skills, I'm not sure if this show really brought out her best, but there was enough in there to know that she is capable of a lot. Her content showed an understanding of musical instruments, music theory, and performance in a few different genres. Her singing can be quite pleasant, I especially liked how she sang some of her later songs.
The night I attended, the show was sold out and a lot of people in the audience seemed to know Taco personally - they also seemed to be aware (in varying degrees) of all the people and events she was talking about. It was pretty entertaining to overhear snippets of conversations among audience members discussing her stories, pointing out bits that were about themselves or bits that were about someone they knew, even if they didn't know that part of the story before. Taco's anecdotes were clearly real stories about real people, which is simultaneously amusing and confronting, because some parts were pretty brutal! But I never sensed any discomfort in the audience, so clearly people who know her must be used to her brand of humour.
If you know Taco in person, you should definitely watch this show, because you're probably in it. If you don't know Taco in person but enjoy having a creative glimpse into the ordinary lives of people you share a city with, you might enjoy this show too.