MICF: Lisa-Skye hits the right note in Songs My Parents Taught Me

lisa-skye melbourne comedianI caught Lisa-Skye‘s Songs My Parents Taught Me at the ‘pop-up’ venue Tuxedo Cat in Melbourne last night — love this town and how it uses these spaces so creatively — and what an enjoyable hour* it was.

I caught her act last year, and this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival performance showed similar flair.

Songs My Parents Taught Me is a clever piece of memoir/biography, centred on the 1970s couple Maddog and Bunny. The night’s chat is a fond, second-hand reminiscence passed down by her parents, heavy on the ‘Wogs’ and drugs and booze and partying. The anecdotes serve as a springboard for Skye’s reflections on drugs, sexuality, parenthood … of growing up, however reluctantly and defiantly.

‘Some people are sexually attracted to fire,’ she says, summarising teenage proclivities for setting things on fire and masturbating.

And one can’t help wonder if that was a summary of Bunny and Maddog’s carefree life, both of them having passed away before Lisa-Skye had a chance to know them.

Lisa-Skye is so personable, her face so expressive, an hour in her velvet-draped pad passes quickly. Her show has some fetching touches: audience engagement, slide shows to help make connections and score some visual chuckles, several wonderfully constructed spoken word pieces set to the ticking of a metronome.

Southern Comfort lovers may be offended; others might never see a knitting needle again without thinking about a shark making love to a space rocket. (You have to be there.)

The conversation at Lisa-Skye’s place is engaging, at times confronting, a little loose and undoubtedly entertaining, with some food for thought – and glitter – thrown in. And the punchline – oh so very nicely done.

* Due to the unfortunate train timetable and the show going a little over time, I missed the last three minutes or so, but Lisa-Skye very kindly sent me the script for that final portion.

Songs My Parents Taught Me runs until April 21.

MICF: Victoria Healy and Lisa-Skye

Two Melbourne comedians, two sides of the same self-empowered coin in last night’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival outing.

comedian victoria healy

Victoria Healy

First up was Victoria Healy, taking the stage at an intimate upstairs room at the wonderfully downbeat Rue Bebelons — out of the cafe, down the alley, up the wooden stairs … and Healy’s journey was even more entertaining.

Entitled Independent Women Part 2, Healy’s show offers the soundtrack to her understanding of what it means to be an independent woman. Starting with the Spice Girls in Year 7 and including Shania Twain, Black Eyed Peas and the titular tune from Destiny’s Child, there are six or seven songs that serve as milestones along the way.

Through a timeline featuring high school dorkiness and learning to be a team player, a spate of loser boyfriends, becoming a fashionista and a competitive sex object, Healy, in jeans and sleeveless blouse and armed with telling character voices, delivers observations and laughs at a conversational and endearing pace, brought to a close with disappointing abruptness. And damn if I couldn’t see the signature hoop move that made her the star of the rhythm gymnastics team…

comedian lisa-skye


TAKING a different approach to the subject of self-awareness and fulfilment is Lisa-Skye, holding down a spot upstairs at the John Curtin Hotel.

Lisa is ‘a glittery drag queen in a tubby goth real-girl’s body’ who delivers a multi-media exploration of sexual desire and individualism par excellence in Ladyboner. She enters the stage with a walk through the audience while reciting Prince’s ‘When Doves Cry’, and you just know you’re in for a treat.

Performance poetry, slide shows and video clips complement her search for a girl of her own. There’s the dad dance, the animal kingdom’s mating rituals, her nan’s passions, love requests from a telephone dating service, an audience Q&A on BDSM; all interspersed with beautifully delivered performance pieces set to the beat of a metronome.

Thirty and married and living in the ‘burbs in her nan’s ‘wog house’, Lisa-Skye is going her own way and taking us along for the ride. She’s personable, honest, acerbic, with great character pieces and spot-on timing. It’s an accomplished performance and wickedly funny.

If you ever wanted to know what it sounds like when doves cry, Ladyboner is for you.