An impressive debut Festival show from Veronica Milsom known for her work on radio (NOVA & TripleJ) and the ABC TV show Mad As Hell. Her time in radio in particular seems to have inspired a lot in the highly polished, yet daggy and adorable Do Not Irony.
This was a very skilfully put together show with sound in particular being spot on and playing an important role throughout. We learn a little about Veronica herself between some of the skits as she forward and occasionally back announces them and she even “sizzles” the ending to her show.
Having all the props such as a rack of costumes, a red top hat, some large glass jars etc, on stage at the beginning makes you curious as to how they are going to be used and adds to the enjoyment of the sketch when they finally are used. Some are placed inconspicuously around the room and delightfully plucked from their hiding spots when she needs them.
Veronica’s use of members of the audience was some of the bravest work of this type I’ve seen because she was asking quite a bit of them and hoping they would react and behave in the appropriate way. There was a chance they could be reluctant, shy or even over exuberant which might ruin her rather delicate theatrical style. Luckily the people chosen on our night were up to the roles given them.
The sketches flowed very well, occasionally inter-sketch banter was the link, but sometimes there would be an abrupt change of tone which added a dramatic surprise element that had the audience wondering what could come next? Some stories are about her family (I’d not heard of non-competitive board games before!), some poking fun at hipsters and some related to her time in radio, including adverts and playing for us a radio phone prank she played on her own mum! She also managed to encapsulate the toxic element of the commercial radio workplace experience in one withering line.
Anyone who watches Mad As Hell would know how brilliant Veronica is at creating funny believable characters. She performed one character per skit, so concentrated on the one she was doing and if a skit required another character they were invisible to us and we heard one side of the conversation. Her opening strip tease was a stunning and charming welcome to the show which was reminiscent of current Festival guest Adrienne Truscott’s show.
This was a charming hour of enjoying watching a talented comedic performer piss farting about and she will definitely go far.
Do Not Irony is on at Five Boroughs until April 20