Most journalists bang on about how spoiled for choice we are in Melbourne when it comes to entertainment, probably to the point where others either get totally sick of the hype or do something about joining in the fun and nothing is more fun than the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, held each year in late March and early April. There are hundreds of shows – probably too many for those of us who can’t make decisions, so how do we know what to choose? Well, there’s word of mouth which is still a bit hit and miss, or there’s the old shut your eyes and point technique. Maybe the best way to choose what to see is to select something that might be a bit different but still within a preferred genre. That’s what a number of us did when we rolled up to Fad Gallery on Tuesday night to see Nadine Sparks’ new show ‘Feast’.
A feast is certainly an apt description. No shrinking violet, Sparks lives life to the full in every way you can imagine, which can result in some absurdly funny situations. Feast provides a plethora of advice on how to be sexy, how and what you should eat, what to wear, and generally how to get through life with your rude finger in the air while you leave all the measured people behind in your journey to the finish line. Sparks doesn’t rely on making her audience shrink from the front row. There’s nothing more uncomfortable than a stand-up comedian belittling someone who’s paid good money to be entertained. Instead, Sparks laughs at herself.
There’s an element of ‘aww that’s awful’, but Sparks does what many of us do. She twists a bad situation so far around that it becomes ridiculous, and we know that things that are absurd are plain funny. Sparks has an awesome sense of comic timing and delivers her show with verve and pizzazz. We nod and laugh and agree as Sparks talks about her life as though it might be our own. She is ‘one of us’, and we leave thinking that we have just had a hugely hilarious d & m with a close buddy.
It may just be too late to catch Sparks in ‘Feast’ this comedy festival, but with this talent we know she’ll be back soon with another installment or two about how to live an uncompromising life…or something similar. Even if you don’t pick up deep life strategies you will at the very least see a master of the dance floor make some pretty funky moves.