At 8.45pm this Thursday, I changed back out of my pyjamas, put my contact lenses in and abandoned my episode of Broadchurch looking for a miracle to yank me out of a mid-week slothful slump. I arrived in Marrickville, hoping a night of comedy would raise my spirits.
Freudian Nip’s Honeymooned, showing at the Sydney Comedy Festival, was the perfect holiday from a busy week. Jenna Owen, Victoria Zerbst and Jess Bush are a dream team trio, and clearly very comfortable with each other on stage. Not only were the performers closely bonded with each other, but they also had no trouble connecting with the audience. This was clear from the opening scene of the performance, where Bush and Zerbst joined Owen on stage for an aggressively motivational talk.
As we entered the theatre, I was feeling as dreary as the beaches of Broadchurch, but, as Jenna Owen so aptly put it in a community garden sketch, “Nothing masks the smell of sadness like fresh coriander”, and Honeymooned was just the spice the audience needed in their life. This scene was one of many highlights for Owen, another being where she practiced mowing the lawn. You have to wonder what it is about gardening that seems to speak to Owen so much.
As with any sketch show, there were lows and highs. Many of the scenes focused on crowing and gossiping middle-aged women, and at times this felt a little stereotypical, harsh and overdone. “I’ve got a shrill voice!” shrieked Victoria Zerbst in an early scene, and both of the women ended up shrieking in what seemed to be an eerily accurate reimagining of the seagull scene in Finding Nemo, where the birds squeal “mine!”
While the sketches about middle-aged women were less relatable for much of the audience, there were some that spoke to the awkward but nonetheless hilarious moments that tend to happen in the lives of the younger generation. The scene where Zerbst is having a relationship/pregnancy crisis, only to be interrupted by the 2003 hit, ‘Crazy Frog’, was painfully hysterical, while the group’s “friendship counselling” was all too real.
While the talk of ridiculous husbands became a little tiring, the overall theme of women being awesome shone through and was well received by all. The show was rounded out by some apt intertextuality, with reworded renditions of Lana Del Rey’s ‘Video Games’ and Savage Garden’s cult classic ‘Affirmation (I Believe)’. One of the shining moments of the night was Zerbst’s gloriously funny monologue, where she took over the stage to convince the audience she was deserving of an agent and that her impression skills were up to par.
The self-deprecating attitude with which the show was played out made it all the more charming. The audience were still laughing as they exited, milling around outside Marrickville’s Factory Theatre to relive the highlights. This show was definitely the mid-week break that I needed. The Honeymooned theme rang true, and I can guarantee that the audience forgot their daily problems in favour of the mini-break offered by Freudian Nip.