Review: Eleanor Morton: Great Title, Glamorous Photo at The Stand

Run the World (Girls) by Beyoncé starts playing and then she appears. It’s the new Eleanor Morton: ‘TV ready,’ glamorous and in charge.

Her first jokes are quick and punchy if not a bit off-kilter. If you’re not clued in yet that something meta is going on here, take a second look at the title of her show.

She high fives a man in the front row after throwing down another punchline and breaks out into dance. She’s perky, upbeat and ready to shine a spotlight on the expectations the industry has of female comedians.

For contrast, she imitates your standard Fringe comedian: that man you meet at the bar, keen to tell you all about his depression, his concern that The Skinny may have better things to do to than cover his show, and other insecurities he doesn’t have time to explain if he’s going to wake up early enough to do Live at the Apollo the next day.

Her own insecurities seep through her new veneer as the show goes on, justified with the experiences of her fellow comedians. The room quiets when she recalls the brutal murder of Eurydice Dixon in Australian, a feminist comedian who thought she was safe when she was killed metres from her front door after a gig.

The show feels unfinished even after the final applause dies out, but so are Morton’s efforts to grapple with what it means to be a woman in comedy. Her ambitious hour yielded thought provoking questions, surfaced important hypocrisies in the industry and incited bountiful laughter at that. In the face of overwhelming adversity, Morton refuses to conform or disregard. I can’t wait to see what she does next.

Eleanor Morton: Great Title, Glamorous Photo, The Stand, 14-25 Aug (not 20), 12.05pm

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