Natalie Harris is Dragon

By Colin Flaherty
Natalie Harris

Natalie Harris decided the bestow the nickname Dragon on herself and persisted with it until her mother referred to her by it. In her third solo Comedy Festival show she explores the realities of living up to this moniker with amusing anecdotes, presented with all the bravado associated with being Dragon.

This is a show about image, expectations and personal development in which Harris manipulates her own to great effect. Presenting us with this alpha female persona of Dragon, cracks soon appear in the facade. This drip feeding of the “real Natalie” happens subtly throughout the performance. It isn’t pushed to its extreme for the huge comic effect she is probably hoping for but pushes that narrative along nicely.

Harris plays the role of Dragon brilliantly; uber confident and always right, even when she contradicts herself. It’s not as aggressive as you would expect and perfectly sets her up as a buffoon we can laugh at. She’s at her hilarious best when she rails against small first world problems and coerces us into accepting her skewed points of view. She even goes to the extent of providing physical evidence for her experiences which adds an amusing “trying too hard” element to this unreliable narrator. When she polls the audience for our opinions they are comically brushed them off as she clearly knows better.

There are a few quiet stretches that are more straight confessional musings or factual statements rather than funny lines. These don’t have us rolling in the aisles but it certainly has us paying attention. Not every one of her ideas lands but those that do are doozies. Witty pop culture references used to cleverly punctuate her points work well and various throwaway lines add some unexpected surprises.

Dragon is solid hybrid of stand up and theatre that keeps everyone riveted to every word.

Dragon is on at Trades Hall until April 23

Creeps by Natalie Harris and Elizabeth Davie

By Hannah Frazer 

The creepiest thing about this show was how Natalie Harris shared my distaste for avocado, brunch loving hipsters and the fact that Elizabeth Davie and I seemed to belong the exact same family in the delightfully not so Creepy Creeps.

From the very beginning Harris and Davie made you feel like you were in good hands. With a great inflight/show safety demonstration (nothing makes you feel more comfortable and safe than authority in a fitted blazer and a neck scarf) to kick off the comedy version of a parallelogram. Beginning and ending the show with sketches as a team. They allowed each other to show off their own unique comedy style by breaking the show into two separate stand-up sets.

Both brought their own individual style. Harris with her observations on today’s hipster youth, struggles with eviction and great use of pie chart. Harris owned her allocated time on stage. Then Davie with her brave honesty in depicting the people in her life and the role she believes they have played in causing many of her psychological issues. Ending her set with a remarkable audience assisted re-enactment of a Karaoke work function, where even though under great duress, she was able to let those demons out. It was this moment that would have to be up there with one of the highlights of the show.

It was clear they were seasoned pros, both having done their own Melbourne International Comedy Festival shows. Their jokes so carefully written that the occasional slight fumble of words, they were sure to backtrack and make sure that the punch line got its glorious warm day in the sun. There were no awkward pauses or uncomfortable ‘….Line!’ moments that most ‘Amateurs’ (as they deemed themselves as) may encounter.

Ending the performance on a slightly edgier note, they each became the stereotypical fashion and healthy lifestyle blogger that you encounter these days. There was also some great use of wigs and a lot of tongue in cheek, that made for a memorable finale.

The bells and whistles of the wigs and pie chart aside, what the audience appreciated the most was the celebration of supportive friends, and the back to basics stand up. Real, honest, relatable and just plain funny.

Creeps by Natalie Harris and Elizabeth Davie is on at The Provincial Hotel until Sept 28

5 Good Reasons to see a show at The Imperial during MICF

We love supporting smaller independent venues away from The Town Hall during the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, ’cause lets face it, everyone knows about that venue – they really don’t need any of our help. We were sad to say goodbye to the little bar Rue Rabelons as a venue in Melbourne, but we’re happy to announce a new venue for the festival up the posh end of town, opposite the Government House – The Imperial Hotel. The comedy there is being curated by Angela Thompson and Micah D Higbed. It will have 2 rooms running through the festival with a variety of young and up and coming performers giving it a great vibe. They had their own mini Gala on Thursday night where host Jimmy James Eaton and performers Tom Ward, Victoria Healy and Neil Sinclair (above) gave us a great taste of what’s to come. So with fourteen shows to choose from, a bar and some yummy pub food deals on offer, don’t forget to hop on a tram and pop up to The Imperial during the festival this year.

5 Good Reasons to see a show at The Imperial during MICF

1) There are 14 great shows on in the one venue!

1. Andy Matthews & Tony Besselink – Atchieve Nothing
2. Balderdash (Tim Clark & Liam Ryan)
3. Dave Fairclough – In Love
4. Elliot Cyngler is Too Small to Function
5. Jason Geary & Jimmy James Eaton – Sketch-ual Healing
6. Jonathan Schuster’s Chrysalis
7. Micah D Higbed – Noteworthy
8. Neil Sinclair – Phoney
9. Sam Peterson, Natalie Harris & Nick Quon – 3 Little Gigs
10. Sullivan & Bok
11. The Time Machine
12. These Kids Are Good
13. Victoria Healy’s Anatomy
14. Xavier Toby – White Trash

2) The shows are all cheap. Most are $15 full price. Some are even cheaper. Also, cheap student tickets on the door.

3) Independently produced! We’ve even kitted the place out ourselves. BYO stage? Yes siree.

4) The Imperial has great food, and they are doing even more special specials during MICF. They also have a top notch drinks selection.

5) All the shows are great. We don’t have any duds, hidden away in a smaller font. They are ALL THE SAME FONT SIZE!

Check out for updates on the shows, pics, giveaways and competitions. We’re also on @ImpyComedy if you’re in to that kind of thing.

The Imperial Hotel is at 2 – 8 Bourke St Melbourne on the corner of Spring St.

See the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Guide and website for show details