Average, the Bear, welcomes us to the gorgeous intimate space and mingles with the audience making small talk. As lovely, gentle and convivial as she is, there is a tension in the audience of; “Will she talk to me? How will I answer her questions? I’d better have an answer ready!” It’s OK and she doesn’t chat to everyone and doesn’t make us too much part of the show, phew, she’s letting us know that we are at the Pre hibernation Drinkies for Bears and human guests, including our human entertainment, Michelle Brasier.
You may know Michelle Brasier from appearing as part of Mad As Hell, Aunty Donna or Double Denim, but you won’t know her until you see Average Bear. And you should see Average Bear. It is one of the Best cabaret shows I’ve seen. A shiver went up my spine, like the first time I saw Tim Minchin’s Rock and Roll Nerd and Michelle’s better at the comedy side of things.
From her first jaw dropping song, to the last and everything in between, the audience was hers. There is a big Broadway musical vibe to her talent and this performance that beautifully balances comedy and tragedy could travel anywhere. If you have listened to her chat with Wil Anderson on his Wilosophy podcast, you will have an idea as to what this autobiographical, origin story is about; innocence, grief, waiting, and learning to walk again after a horrific accident amongst other things. It’s actually very funny, but have a tissue handy. Really.
A lot has happened since Michelle Brasier was awarded the Moosehead to create Average Bear. Part way through the show, like a child who realises she’s outgrown her sleep-time friend, Michelle drops the whole bear thing. She doesn’t need it. She can sing, dance, do outlandish sketch comedy and standup with charm and charisma. The world is waiting for her.
Michelle Brasier performs Average Bear at Comedy Republic til April 18