Christina Schmidt & Miso Bell – Fear Us (Please)

By Colin Flaherty

After being Victorian State Finalists in last year’s RAW Comedy, Christina Schmidt and Miso Bell teamed up for their debut Festival two hander. This show of short sets of “edgy” stand up was an ambitious venture but their combined inexperience loomed large.

First the positives – there were plenty of interesting ideas in here. There were wacky twists given to seemingly straightforward topics to produce fun surreal results. The conceit of the pair desperately trying to come across as Bad Arses but failing in every metric was a solid one that they were able to sell.

The major problem was in the rambling, rushed and often mumbled delivery of each performer. Schmidt was somewhat timid in her stage persona which only weighed her down further. Bell had some scripted items read from pages that were well written but suffered from the same messy presentation. She briefly showed that she was capable of a clear, measured performance during a rare contemplative section of the script but immediately went back to blurting out the rest of the tale. When they shared the stage for some banter, their interactions were stilted, awkward and showed very little on stage chemistry.

The gimmick of polluting an ocean diorama when the punters didn’t respond appropriately was a promising idea but ultimately didn’t really go anywhere. They had a clever postscript video to end the show but not many people will see it. The duo had already announced that the show was over and most punters had already left the room or begun loudly chatting to each other.

The audience clearly enjoyed the wackiness of this duo but their execution cause them to miss most of the clever lines buried within. Here’s hoping that they can build up their experience and develop their stagecraft without losing too much of their interesting voices.

Fear Us (Please) is on at Bard’s Apothecary until April 22