The Butterfly Club hosts some of the best acts dancing the line between comedy and cabaret, and this MICF, Alice Tovey’s Mansplaining is one of the jewels in the festival’s belt.
Accompanied by Ned Dixon on piano, Alice begins the show by blowing the sold-out audience away with her made-for-stage vocals. It takes a few seconds for you to realise that the showtune voice is belting out some of the cleverest lyrics seen in an original piece for many moons.
Beat poetry, smooth jazz, rap, kazoo — Tovey does it all, with the perfect amount of self awareness of just how dorky/great a kazoo solo actually is. Every line could be it’s own viral hashtag and deserves it’s own round of applause, especially the wonderfully gratuitous use of the word ‘gobbies’, which is missing from so many shows.
Between the songs, Alice tears apart the wings of politics, breaks down the frustration felt by every woman who’s heard ‘Well ACTUALLY’ from a man, and reminds us all that we don’t have to be the most beautiful rose when the world also needs some nice shrubs.
Armed with some Ned Spray for when her co-host gets too unruly, Alice Tovey holds the audience captive, quite literally, as she runs through her perfectly scripted observations about the fragility of masculinity. The second half of the show strays into global politics, cleverly navigating people’s stubbornness around ‘alternative facts’ and the horror of Pauline Hanson. There’s also a short cameo by some wonderful back up dancers which simply cannot be missed.
Mansplaining is perfectly polished and the right amount of political. It’s the type of show you could happily watch over and over — so make sure you go and see it at least once!
Jasmin Ashton is a designer, marketer and freelance writer from Melbourne who has a lot of feelings about everything. Find them at @Jasmanna.