Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Melbourne Comedy Festival: Alice Tovey - Mansplaining

Alice and Ned, Mansplaining

Alice Tovey is happy that men are coming to her new show, but the show isn’t made for them. Alice is tired of society making things for men, even when they already exist, so Mansplaining is for all the non-men in the room.

Actually… and here, I feel trapped. Not that I’m complaining about being trapped, not at all. My privilege suggests that my feeling trapped feels nowhere near as bad as the typical life experience of women or people of colour. That’s what Alice sings about, how society works when no one challenges the status quo.

Wait, am I mansplaining Mansplaining?

Alice, accompanied by Ned Dixon on piano, jumps from a beat poem about fragile male ego to racism in Australia to a peppy song about Islam.

The pair are skewering the ridiculous power structures of society. These songs are layered in meaning and hilarious in execution. One minute you’re tapping your feet or clapping along; the next minute, Alice is calling for women’s bodily autonomy from bro dudes called Trip, Chase and Roofie.

While the style of songs varied wildly - Alice can give you soulful poetry, rat-a-tat rap and a deep song about how feelings age you, the humour is always front and centre. Sometimes you laugh out loud and sometimes you recoil from the truth bombs she drops like a rapper drops a mic.

Alice is a clever lyricist who can sing the hell out of her rage. Women, get along. Men, it’s not for you, but you should go anyway.

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