Merri-May Gill (and Janice, of the Moree Public Library)

Fringe Fest 2011 Review

Delightfully dotty is how the lady I sat next to last night at Divadlo Na Pradle – Kavarna (Besedni 3, Mala Strana) described this act. She was right. A cross between a female, Australian Flight of the Conchords and Steven Lynch, Gill´s act is a hilarious mixture of comedy and song. Her amazingly dead-pan delivery had the audience doubled up with laughter from the very beginning.

Her new show (and new album Paris Moree) explains Gill´s ‘mission´ to transform the small Australian town of Moree into a cultural capital of the world.  Starting with an introduction to Janice, her not-so-able librarian assistant, and a quick induction in all things Australian (yutes, jackaroos and sheep-stations), Gail and Janice then launch into song: about home (If you were a sheep) about European culture (Fook, I wish I was French) and about Aussie booze (Bundy!).  I say ‘songs´ but in fact Gill´s lyrics don´t always get that far. Songs require enhanced language, but Gill and Janice are funniest in their earthbound idiom: the best tunes are somewhere between music and achingly funny conversation.

Merri-May Gill Fook I wish I was French

Gill´s wonderfully satirical songs would entertain very well by themselves. The show is further lifted however, by the addition of Gill´s ‘fluffer´, Janice. In the same way as Jermaine´s (The Flight of the Conchords) Bret or David Brent´s (The Office) Gareth, Janice´s wonderful portrayal of the slightly inept librarian from Moree really gives the show extra legs and helps get the audience singing and clapping along with Gill. The whole production is so hilarious that it is almost as an afterthought that I add that Gill is a really excellent guitarist and has a strong and wonderfully adaptable voice that works well across cabaret, folk and jazz.

I absolutely loved this and, if you are after a giggle, would highly recommend it.

Merri May Gill runs until June 4 at 19.45 at Divadlo Na Pradle – Kavárna (Besední 3, Malá Strana). For the full Fringe programme and further details go to the Fringe website. Tickets for each performance cost 150 CZK. Students presenting a valid student ID card are able to get cheap, last minute tickets for 50 CZK, from 30 minutes before start of the show. Advance tickets are available from Ticketstream.


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