When I heard that Alice Fraser was coming to The Sydney Comedy Festival with her new stand-up comedy Ethos, I was excited. Aside from Fraser’s impressive bio (numerous stand-up shows, podcasts and comedic writings on SBS, as well as fabulous reviews on her last few shows locally and at Edinburgh) the show promised big things. Ethos is listed as exploring humanity using the mind of a naive artificial intelligence. I knew I couldn’t miss a chance to see this show.
The first lesson in humanity was that things are never as they seem. The 1920s art deco feel of the stage suited Alice’s highbrow style and was a fabulous juxtaposition of the show’s futuristic content.
Some might think that trying to explain humanity in a one-hour comedy slot with a robot is pretty ambitious, but Alice didn’t stop there. Instead, she spent the hour switching deftly between current affairs to bigger ideas and gripes using nuance, puns and a few songs.
The second lesson was about hard work. A large part of the charm of Alice, and of Ethos, was her unapologetic intelligence and determination. Her jokes worked as hard as she did, each one packed with more depth and meaning than initially meets the eye.
You can’t tackle humanity without sex. Alice took us from pornography to singing about #metoo with ease and a lot of fun.
The final lesson of the evening was about lacking the capacity to put things into words. A show which was jam packed with explanations about words, context and meanings (with a lot of footnotes) is surprisingly hard to describe. Alice Fraser explored these themes and many more with charm, empathy and sharp wit for when words weren’t enough.
Ethos is running now until Sunday so make sure you did not miss out on seeing this incredible talent. Book now to avoid disappointment.
Elli de Ryckman de Betz is a firm believer of the saying Inner-West is best and continues to aggressively canvass all of the Inner-West’s events, music and comedy for The Plus Ones.
Ethos is running from Thursday 3rd May – Sunday 6th May at The Enmore Theatre in Newtown. The venue is not accessible.
To keep up to date with upcoming shows you can check out her website.
Disclosure: The Plus Ones were guests of Frontier Comedy.
Image credit: Frontier Comedy.