Odette surprises at every turn
Reviewed at the National Wine Centre on 1 March 2019
Presented by Marina Margarita
Odette knows how to work a room. Watching her walking though the waiting audience in the restaurant, her character weaving its way through the room was enchanting. Chatting effortlessly with patrons, shifting her enormous baby bump – it surely must be twins – managing her unruly frontward aspect, which quite frankly threatened to steal the show, I was able to watch this talented young woman from a distance.
The Fringe is always chaotic and the ever-expected delay between turnarounds happened. You can’t shove your patrons unceremoniously from the previous show away, they want to talk to you, that’s why the Fringe works, audiences get to mix with the artists. The slight delay was handled with the usual effortless good humour by the person running The Vine Room, we weren’t kept waiting very long but as we made ourselves comfortable, we were shifted again – really!
Sometimes it doesn’t matter how good your material is, how clever your satire might be, how jovial your audience was in the bar, you get them in the room and they respond completely uncharacteristically. The material is funny, clever, a biting satire on the effects of daytime soap operas on certain areas of the population told through the eyes of an obsessed cleaning lady. It’s comedy gold! Sometimes your audience just wants to be the star of your show and tread on your punch lines, try to steal the focus, leave you fighting to get your show back on track and you might as well have stayed at home and watched telly for all they care!
Marina’s face tells as much of the story as her words do. It’s an India rubber face that threatens to tie itself in a knot. Emotion enlivens her features and the comic effect is hysterical, you can’t stop laughing! The two audience members she invited on stage to help her joined in the spirit of the show and were at times mesmerised by her big blousy Odette. But they worked with her and helped put the show back on track. They were a great foil for Odette’s black humour and great ability to look wounded by the audience’s response or that of her guest.
Odette dances with a mop, has a conversation with a picture or two, re-enacts a couple of scenes from The Bold and the Beautiful, has a confrontation with the father of her baby, turns the audience into ducks, frogs and other assorted critters and genuinely surprises us at every turn, but the leaping salmon threatened to render me helpless. The songs are re-written to great comic effect and a better-informed audience might have given Odette a bit more response to work with – they were very hard work. Clever satire needs a clever audience and quite frankly I don’t think Odette’s first night audience were quite up to the job.
The show will grow into its paws in a day or two as Odette finds her mark with an Australian audience. Funny how the response to a satirically based piece of comedy can change from continent to continent but I’m confident this very funny young comedienne will find her mark.
Reviewed by Adrian Barnes
Venue: Vine Room, The National Wine Centre
Season: March 1st – March 17th
Duration: 50 mins
Tickets: FP$21 Conc $18 Bank SA Cust $16-50 Bank SA Support Act $10