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Comedy, Fringe World, News, Performing arts, Reviews

Seriously funny

Fringe World review ·
Elizabeth Davie, Super Woman Money Program · 
The Shambles in the Woodside Pleasure Gardens, January 22 ·
Review by David Zampatti ·

Sometimes comedy is best when the laughing stops.

When Elizabeth Davie stops with the funnies (she gives us plenty) she sits down and reads journalist Jane Gilmore’s unsettling story of the divergent economic and life paths of a man, John, and his wife, Mary, after their divorce.

It’s quite long, often quite dry and it’s no joke.

It’s a damning indictment of the systemic barriers raised against women who find themselves “financially independent” – either by their own choosing or by the actions of others.

As Davie puts it – and she’s not joking – she “has to raise an extra $350,000 for her retirement just because she has a vagina”.

Don’t be intimidated by all this; Davie won the Best Comedy award at last year’s Fringe World, and there’s a good reason why.

She’s got manic expressiveness, a body with a mind of its own and a voice that could break glass. (When she “sings” along to Shirley Bassey’s My Life I was glad my drink was in one of those hideous plastic cups).

She also does some rubbish glove-puppetry, a fair bit of staggering slapstick (the whole gamut of stand-up, really), says some really funny things – and then sits and tells us about John and Mary.

“I felt like I had cold water running down my back,” says Davie.

And, sometimes, that’s exactly what comedy needs to be.

Super Woman Money Program plays at The Shambles in the Woodside Pleasure Gardens until January 26.

Pictured top: Elizabeth Davie. Photo: Nayt Housman.

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Super Woman Money Program
Calendar, Comedy, Fringe World, Performing arts

Comedy: Super Woman Money Program

18 – 25 January @ The Shambles, Woodside Pleasure Garden ·
Presented by Elizabeth Davie ·

Winner Best Comedy Award Fringe World 2018

Don’t miss the return season of the underground hit that won Best Comedy Award last year.

Did you know that women often retire with a lot less super than men? Elizabeth didn’t. She gets her financial advice from Shirley Bassey and spent all her money going to clown school. But now they tell her she has to raise an extra $350,000 for her retirement, just because she has a vagina. So she’s doing a comedy show. Welcome to the Super Woman Money Program.

“Fantastically joyful feminist comedy” Squirrel Comedy
“Delightful, shocking and deeply reflective” — Theatrepeople
“Hilarious” — Pop Culture-y
“Hilarity, life-lessons, and a big old slap in the reason” — Weekend Notes

More info:

Pictured: Elizabeth Davie, credit Nayt Housman

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Super Woman Money Program - Elizabeth Davie
Comedy, Features, News, Performing arts

Money, feminism and power… ballads

Sometimes comedy is the best way to explain depressing statistics, says Melbourne-based comedian Elizabeth Davie, and so she’s having a crack at the superannuation gender gap in her Fringe show Super Woman Money Program. Seesaw thought that sounded awesome, so we invited Elizabeth to complete our Fringe Sessions Q&A to find out more.

Seesaw: When did you first know that you wanted to be an artist?
Elizabeth Davie: I’ve always wanted to be an artist, but I started out as a visual artist, studying printmaking. That was before I got addicted to making people laugh. Making people laugh is easier (and more fun) as a comedian than as a printmaker.

S: Did you undertake formal training, learn on-the-job, or a bit of both?
ED: I started doing stand-up about five years ago, just learning on the job. But since then, I’ve trained in improv and clowning, including going to clown school in France for a bit.

S: Describe your artistic practice…
ED: Hmm… my comedy is sort of a mish-mash of personal stories, political stand-up and really silly clowning and dancing. And power ballads!

I’ve worked on community TV shows, doing political jokes and sketches, but at the moment I’m loving being able to make live shows and be with the audience every night. Doing an hour-long show lets you explore things in more depth and do material you couldn’t do in a five or ten minute spot.

I created Super Woman Money Program with my amazing directors, Sharney Nougher and Shannan Lim, so even though it’s a solo show, it was very much a team effort. They helped me shape the material and make the show the best it could be and I loved that process. I will never work without a director/s again!

S: Career highlight so far?
ED: My career highlight so far is selling out Super Woman Money Program at the Melbourne Fringe, but the best part about that was chatting to audiences afterwards. I had so many amazing conversations with people afterward, about their experiences with money and superannuation and the politics of it all. It’s actually a very emotional issue.

S: Tell us about Super Woman Money Program!
ED: Super Woman Money Program is a comedy about money, feminism and power ballads, inspired by my super company. They sent me an email suggesting I tackle the gender super gap by buying cheaper makeup, reusing my tea bags and avoiding divorce. The whole email was such a joke, I figured there must be a show in it! So I decided to see if I could make superannuation funny, because comedy is the best way to explain depressing statistics.

I know just enough about money to know I really don’t know enough, so I did a heap of research. I still don’t know enough, really, it’s so complex and confusing, it’s no wonder most people don’t even know their own super balance!

The show explores my own life, and also the social structures that place women at a financial disadvantage, through a mixture of stand up, sketch, clowning and storytelling. It’s funny, I promise!

S: What made you decide to give Fringe World a whirl?
ED: So many amazing artists and comedians have come out of Perth, including both my directors, Shannan and Sharney, so I couldn’t wait to bring a show to Fringe World.

S: Aside from your show, what are you looking forward to seeing/doing at Fringe?
ED: I’ve never been to Perth, so I can’t wait to visit and see the city. And there are so many amazing shows to see! But I’m possibly the most excited about the beaches, I hear they leave Victorian beaches for dead.

S: What is your favourite playground equipment?
ED: I’m a big fan of the swings! It’s really meditative.

Super Woman Money Program plays Upstairs at Rosie O’Grady’s, 30 January – 2 February.

Pictured top: Elizabeth Davie. Photo: Nayt Housman.

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