Eileen Williams is a delightful character, and her show ‘Irrelevant’ is anything but what the title suggests. With Eileen having to take the mantle of her husband’s bigoted campaign in front of a crowd of people she was unprepared to address, this ingenious piece is a blunt reminder of the way our world has viewed the role of gender in society in the past, and how it still exists today in a time where the character of Eileen seems as out of place as her husband’s ideals and policies that she has to partake in announcing. It is a show true to its cause, going so far as to have the character of Eileen truly believe that this is her place and role in society, and in turn, apologetic for any glimmer of independence and innovative thought. With some solid one-liners, and a mix of pace between dialogue and awkward silences, ‘Irrelevant’ achieves a satisfactory portrayal of comedic performance that is not too absurd to undermine the relevancy of its intended message.
Michelle Nussey does a superb job at sustaining and portraying Eileen’s character, balancing the gentle and proud moments of intellectual bravado, with the restrained, dutiful, and cruel self-acceptance of her role in the patriarchal world that surrounds her. This is a one-woman show, written and mostly self-directed by the artist in question, making this a very relevant show to watch by those who wish to see up-and-coming theatre pieces and performers excelling in their individual craft. With such a short and limited run, be sure to catch this one early on in the festival.
Corey M. Glamuzina is a Melbourne-based actor, writer, improvisor and comedian with an avid involvement in the art of theatre and film.
‘Eileen Williams in Irrelevant’ runs from the 23-27 March, 7pm at The Butterfly Club – Downstairs, Carson Place. The venue is not accessible.
Check out our guide to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival for more great shows.