Lauren Bok, Chelsea Hughes & Megan Mckay : Wander Women

By Lisa ClarkWander Women

Up in the air! Is it Wonder Woman? No but it’s still pretty cool. It’s Wander Women a great little sketch show by three talented comedians who want to share their Superpower skills at travelling with anyone who wants to join them on their journey.

Those hoping for anything more of the fab 1970s Wonder Woman than its catchy theme tune might be a little disappointed but fear not, the Wander Women have an entertaining show in store. Lauren Bok from Live on Bowen, Megan Mckay (a 2012 National Finalist at RAW Comedy) and Chelsea Hughes from America are our Super Hosties providing the in-flight entertainment on an imaginary flight into the world of travelling, travel nightmares, and tourists from hell. They also share their travelling Super Powers with us

The girls begin where we all begin with packing for the trip and end the tour with a very modern way to end holidays, adding reviews to Trip Advisor. The Superhero ‘Travelator’ saves us from travel stress with a very edifying and amusing lecture on packing tips. The Wander Women also advise us on how travel can make or break a relationship, what not to wear and warn us against Delhi belly.

Their satire of the insensitive tourist whose priority is getting the ‘right’ photo for their social media site was a little dark but spot on and had a cracking tag. As did the pun-laden gameshow with the delightfully surreal element of a jar of chutney as a contestant. Why not? The Contiki tour guide could’ve been more stressed out but was a great low key way to involve the audience. The ‘Dance of the Luggage Liquids’ was a highlight though things could’ve gotten messier, but then maybe I’ve been influenced by seeing way too much of Dr Brown & Sam Simmons and this is definitely not that show.

There were a lot of really fresh and fabulous ideas here and the performers worked well together considering this was their first outing. My main suggestions would be that each of them concentrate on creating stronger (& sillier) characters. The travel insurance phone room would’ve benefitted from some interesting characters and the TripAdvisor interrogators could’ve been more extreme. Lauren Bok in silly wig has fun as one of the ‘Tourist Fashion Police” but the others don’t seem to have put much work into their characterisations and the whole thing is not vicious enough. Though it’s pretty hard to out-bitch such a nasty reality concept I guess.

The audio visual component was excellent and a perfect accompaniment to the live performances without ever overshadowing or outstaying it’s welcome. The idea of breaking up the show with three sets of three genuine holiday snaps was perfect and the ‘un-happy snaps’ were particularly funny. The finale was also inspired, the girls had a lot of work put into it and it’s definitely one of the best finales at this year’s comedy festival.

Wander Women is a pretty nice way of spending an hour at the Comedy Festival and there are a few bang on belly laughs among the titters, groans and smiles of recognition. The ratio could go up if they really threw everything in and ramped it up a notch, so there is heaps of potential here in this debut work. It’s certainly enjoyable for experienced travellers and we learned some serious super powered packing skills.

Wander Women is on at The Portland Hotel until April 19