Michelle Brasier’s Space Tortoise

By Phoebe O’BrienSpace Tortoise

Michelle Brasier from comedy troupe Backwards Anorak (Winter is Coming) is adorably awkward in her Melbourne International Comedy Festival solo debut show Space Tortoise. Brasier has teamed up with Shannon Whitelock (Oprahfication, Never Date A Songwriter) who offers up some sweet keyboard magic.

Space Tortoise has the perfect blend of music and comedic moments. The narrative centres around Brasier’s character Eric, a tortoise who although works in retail, dreams of becoming an astronaut. Armed with a wind machine, pink sparkly shorts and one heck of a voice, Brasier brings a strong wit and raw emotion to her performance. Some banter with ‘tech guy’ Dan and an introduction from an audience member brings the first few giggles of the show.

Often telling herself to ‘sing about it’, Brasier has packed the show with powerful performances including hits from Céline Dion, Prince and Adele. The musical moments build upon the narrative creating an enjoyable ride throughout. Not one to leave out the audience, Brasier finds interesting ways to connect with them. A game of ‘beer pong’ and a sing-a-long of the theme song from Dawson’s Creek, lends a hand in shaping a togetherness within the crowd.

Brasier’s quirky style brings a warm energy that could lift even the dullest of days. If you’re a musical comedy fan or a sequins enthusiast, this show is one for you.

Catch Michelle Brasier’s Space Tortoise on at the Melbourne Town Hall


Backwards Anorak – Winter Is Coming, Again

By Ron Bingham
Winter is coming again
This is ostensibly a workshop to cast the roles for a production of Winter Is Coming (ie Game of Thrones). The four main cast members (and the keyboard player) give a musical history of Game of Thrones with a little Harry Potter, Narnia and Lord Of the Rings added to the mix. It probably would have helped if I had seen the TV series (I’d read the first book ages ago but I have no time for long TV series’). Anyway, while the cast is singing songs and re-enacting scenes from the series, there is also a battle to see who gets to play Khaleesi. There are also roles for various members of the audience (I was nominated to play Hodor, but was sacked after the first sex scene and replaced with an understudy, thankfully).

I enjoyed the proceedings (apart from my acting, which was terrible) and even for those who have no knowledge of GoT, there is a lot of humour and music and silliness and surprise costumes and violence and simulated sex in the hour to leave you feeling that you had seen an actual episode on the TV show. The cast, Michelle Brasier, Vince Milesi, Leo Milesi, Laura Frew and the piano player (or Jon Snow) are energetic and funny and talented. Just try to avoid sitting down the front if you’re a bit shy. There are dragons and some swearing as well as the above mentioned naughtiness. It’s loud, funny and violent.


5 Good Reasons to see Backwards Anorak in “A Hip Hikers Guide To The Galaxy”

1. Michael Keaton basically plays himself.

2. Ed Nolan in tighty whiteys, nuff said.

3. Amazing cinematography.

4. That drumming soundtrack.

5. Zach Galifinalis can do no wrong.

A Hip Hikers Guide To The Galaxy is on at The Butterfly Club. For more information and bookings visit the website:

Here’s Lucy! Camp as Hell by Backwards Anorak

By Colin Flaherty

Lucifer (Lucy to his “friends” and played by Vince Milesi) is relaunching Hell much like you would with a nightclub. His new intern (Michelle Brasier) is smitten with Lucy but he has his eyes on Jesus (played by real life brother Leo Milesi in a creepy twist). This love triangle in the eternal inferno was played out wonderfully through numerous songs and lots of cheeky innuendo.

Vince Milesi played the title role beautifully with the all charm of a Vegas performer and threw in an appropriate cruel streak with some blatent intimidation and humiliation. As Lucy tried to get us excited about the forthcoming evil decadence, this clearly bipolar character would suddenly be in a violent rage at the slightest error or mishap. Brasier’s portrayal of Intern the Intern was spot on. This timid naïve creature tiptoed around her boss but found a strong voice through song.

There were plenty of laughs to be had with all the off-colour lines and wicked innuendo. Some gentle witty jabs were thrown the way of Christianity but nothing too offensive. The fun plot weaved through some ridiculous and slightly disturbing scenarios and the characters would regularly bump and grind with anything that wasn’t nailed down for a bit giggling at audience discomfort. Be prepared for plenty of comical simulated sex acts.

The musical component was wonderful and propelled the story along with plenty of colour and movement in the form of some dance moves. With either keyboard accompaniment or a backing track, the cast belted out a number of current popular songs and a few that appeared to be originals. They all were great singers and there was a nice touch with the Mike Whitney character given a deliberately shonky singing voice (he may have sold his soul to become a star, but Satan wasn’t a miracle worker).

The ending of the show was quite abrupt with the audience expecting some sort of clear resolution to the story but it was not to be. The houselights went up and we were a little confused about how things would pan out between the main characters. Either I missed something important in the lyrics of the final song or we were taught the lesson that you rarely get exactly what you want in Hell. Despite the vague conclusion this was a fun piece of raunchy musical comedy that will delight.

Here’s Lucy! Camp as Hell is on at Upstairs at Errol’s at 9:15pm until October 4