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April 3, 2014 / Siobhan Argent

Edge! – Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2014


Edited version published in Beat magazine

Edge!

Edge! appears to have some very clear objectives in mind. One is to make you so insanely uncomfortable you want to melt into the furnishings. The other is to make your testicles (or lady plums) shrivel to molecular proportions as the topic of child sexualisation literally takes centre stage under the thin veil of satirical mimcry.

Miley Cyrus apparently has the market cornered on transitioning from pre-teen pop princess to post-tween sex poppet. So thank goodness the protagonist of Edge! is still only an eleven-year-old mildly talented YouTube hit named Stella (Isabel Angus). Her mother, via the wonders of Bluetooth, stage mothers her to death via mobile phone while her daughter dutifully devotes her stage time to sexing it up and executing the most well-known formula for young female stardom.

Stella’s mute, much-older assistant (Rachel Davis) plays soft foil at key points, effectively breaking up the more hard-hitting skits. But the main comedic success here lies in the satire. Child sexualisation in the media has been bemoaned since time eternal, but here it feels fresh simply because of the uncomfortable extremes to which the satire has been taken. It’s relentless, pushing on past most barriers of good taste but doing it with a consciousness that prevents it from becoming tackier than necessary.

That said, Edge! doesn’t have high-quality production values and the themes can sometimes feel a little too thickly laid. Still, it’s a strong debut show that clearly demonstrates Angus’ and Davis’ canny comedic sensibilities and a sensitivity for issues that are both current and pervasive.

Edge! is currently playing at the The Tuxedo Cat until April 8.

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