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Review: Annie and Lena Have a Talk Show at Malthouse Playbox - MICF

Updated: Apr 16

Review by Stephanie Lee

From the moment you start being ushered into the theatre this show is a whirlwind of goofy bits and talk show themed jokes. ‘Annie and Lena Have a Talk Show’ playing at Malthouse’s Playbox theatre is such a fun, snappy show brought to life by two very charmingly silly performers who you cannot help but enjoy watching. 

The whole show stays very on focus the entire time with each of the skits falling into the overarching talk show theme. The ‘narrative arch’ follows Annie and Lena on their journey from production assistants to hosts of a prank show (with a fun twist at the end). They take the audience ‘behind the scenes’ of the biz at every stage of the way, while also introducing us to an array of different hosts and show guests including a third forgotten about Irwin child that is obsessed with animal penises. 

Annie Lumsden and Lena Moon have crafted an absolute cracker of a comedy show. The characters are distinct, funny and sometimes weirdly endearing. There’s a moment with a six-year-old gamer talk show guest that had me almost crying with laughter (you’ll have to see the show to find out). The talk shows depicted range the spectrum of television and there’s even a segment of musical chairs where the two performers impersonate well known hosts. 

While some characters and skits pay off more than others, the overarching narrative and quick pace of the show save any moments that start to lull. It really is a non-stop hour and Lumsden and Moon make use of every minute. I also quite enjoyed the mild audience interaction of the work. As the audience files in each performer worked a side of the room, asking brief questions and cracking jokes. I thought the introductory interaction was smart for encouraging the audience to interact with the talk show façade, as after the ice was broken, we were ready to yell and clap at the introduction of each talk show host or guest throughout the night. 

Sound design by Olivia Mckenna and the lighting design both helped the quick switches between segments of the show and kept the energy created by Lumsden and Moon’s performances high. Also worthy of mention is the video of celebs reading roast tweets in the middle of the show, which featured some well-known Aussie comedians and was very entertaining. 

If you want an action-packed hour of character comedy and wonderfully silly gags you must check out ‘Annie and Lena Have a Talk Show’ immediately!

Image Supplied


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