The brilliant Tegan Higginbotham is back this Comedy Festival with the third instalment of her sports-themed comedy trilogy; ‘Game Changer’. ‘Game Changer explores everything from Pole ‘Sports’ (no longer Pole Dancing), to the Legend’s league, boxing and to Tegan’s continuing devotion to AFL. How do you change the game when it comes to the tradition-steeped world of sport?
Higginbotham blends commentary of new trends in sport with personal reflections on what sport has meant for her. She examines her personal attitudes and comfort with the ‘sexiness’ of certain new-wave sports. Higginbotham takes the ‘method’ approach to her comedy; after all, if you’re going to talk about boxing or pole dancing – surely first you need to do it! We learn about Tegan’s personal adventures in Pole dancing lessons. Imagine if more comedians committed to their material in the way Higginbotham does!
Tegan poses important observations to us about how female athletes must sell sex as well as skill to gain recognition. Is the formerly Lingerie now ‘Legends’ League demeaning or empowering to those who participate? And who gets to decide which; the players or the punters? Is the very existence of the sport putting that question in the spot light?
The method with which Higginbotham explores her personal relationship with sport and what it has meant to her personally takes a unique place on the comedy scene. Higginbotham’s continual commitment to talking about sport was initially met with scepticism by people who assumed it was for novelty or comedic purposes only. But third show in Higginbotham is now recognised as serious when it comes to her love and knowledge on sport.
While some of the more nuanced Carlton/Collingwood jokes were lost on the non-sports devoted Higginbotham fans in the audience, enough was accessible for all. Tegan’s step towards revealing more of personal self in this show is a welcome one. We’d love to get to know more about the woman behind the Sports Columns in the Age. This show definitely showed potential for Tegan to work within the medium of pathos, as well as her proven talents in the fields of sketch and improv.
Dust off your footy boots, put in your mouth guard, and head along to this funny and fresh scrum of laughter and learning.
Game Changer is on at The Portland Hotel – Gold Room until April 20