Gen Fricker – Monsterpussy 

By Elyce Phillips
Gen Fricker

The day before heading down to Melbourne for the Comedy Festival, Gen Fricker’s dad accidentally dropped a wardrobe on her, injuring her shoulder and leaving her arm in a sling. This sounds like the kind of ailment that could ruin a show for a musical comedian, but with her fabulous storytelling skills and deft one-handed keyboard playing, Monsterpussy is a solid hour of laughs.

Seeing as she’s unable to play guitar at the moment, Fricker requests the help of someone in the audience to do the guitar portion of the show. A suspiciously confident dude volunteered – perhaps a budding local comic who had got wind of the audience participation part of the show – and proceeded to bust out what he said was Radiohead but I am fairly certain was not Radiohead. I’m a pretty big Radiohead fan (i.e. a huge nerd) and I don’t recall the word ‘hymen’ being in any of their lyrics. Having weirded Fricker out, his minute of fame was up. The man returned to his seat and we were treated to the far superior musical talents of Fricker.

Monsterpussy has no grand moral, no overriding theme. The last year of Fricker’s life has been chaotic and the show reflects that. One thing that stands out above all else is Fricker’s ability to endure. Despite upheavals in her life, injury and illness, she has continued on, put together a great show and performs it like a total badarse. The songs are hilarious – the stripped-back keys sound really great. The stories are heart-wrenching and occasionally terrifying, but above all, they are also hilarious. Fricker’s humour has a dark edge that works well with her self-depreciating delivery style. There are no big punchlines here, rather a steady ebb of consistent laughs.

Gen Fricker is super talented and resilient as all get-out. She may have had a few set-backs, but Monsterpussy is an absolute winner.

Gen Fricker – Monsterpussy is on at the Portland Hotel until April 19

Genevieve Fricker : The Pineapple

By Noel Kelso

Performing in a room which appears to have only just been rediscovered after many years and had the cobwebs and dusty boxes removed, Genevieve Fricker entertains her audience with an hour of great gags, brilliantly observed musical comedy and tales of her life.

Wielding an electric guitar, Fricker begins her show with a very funny song about writing routines on her phone. This warms her audience up for the tales which follow.

This includes reminiscing over adverts from the previous decade and positing a tragic backstory for the main character. This is well done by Fricker and it mattered not that I had not seen the ad in question as she paints such a vivid picture with her words.

Her curiosity at the world is infectious and the audience finds itself pondering if there really is a phone call gossiping conspiracy betwixt cab drivers and convenience store clerks. There is an honesty to her delivery which is refreshing as she speaks about her depression and the overcompensation this leads her to.

One of the highlights of the show is Fricker relating the tale of finding her car vandalised in quite a strange manner and the confrontation this leads to with one of her neighbours whilst Fricker herself is dressed like a prim Sunday school teacher from the 1950s. Apparently comics are prone to doing crazy things when criticised.

This was really funny, naturalistic comedy which included several astute observations about the foibles of modern life and thoughtful musings on her family and mixed cultural heritage including some well-timed call-backs.

The Pineapple is on at The Duke of Wellington Hotel until April 7