By Lisa Clark
Everyone’s a Winner is a beautiful, intelligent, funny, story show about survival, not fitting in and gaining the strength to walk away and find a better life. Sydney comedian Alice Fraser trained as a lawyer at Cambridge University, but thankfully for comedy audiences a legal life did not suit her and this show is about the miseries of the corporate world and her joyful escape.
Before the story proper Alice Fraser sings us a silly song on her banjo, an instrument which is almost as funny as the ubiquitous ukulele, that she plays wonderfully. Then just to let us know that she can crack out some pretty sharp gags she starts by popping zingers at us inspired by topics set out on cards. They are file cards because her props in the show tend to relate to her corporate theme.
When Alice moves into the story proper there is a change in mood and in manner which has more of a feel of spoken word but luckily is also very funny. Alice’s topics can get quite dark at times, the high levels of mental illness and suicide in her profession, the deep shame of failure, sexual harassment, the disdain towards women who choose motherhood and working in a place where non conformity is treated like a crime. Seeing her perform comedy and play the banjo, it is not surprising that she felt so out of place, could see through the bullshit and is thankfully able to make comedy about it.
I saw Alice absolutely slay a large comedy room with her intelligent, feminist comedy routine recently. It was then awe inspiring to see how she had expertly placed the jokes from her routine throughout her festival show. Which came first the routine or the festival show? I don’t know, but she is clearly mastering both. She has worked out an interesting structure with a warm welcome, Dictaphone messages that tell the story and routines about the topics that emerge, interspersed with some musical interludes including a lovely sing-along.
It is always fabulous to discover a new hugely talented comedian who is clearly destined for big things. You should discover her too, before she starts selling out in more expensive venues.
Alice Fraser performs Everyone’s a Winner at The Swanston Hotel in the Downstairs Lounge at 6.15