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Review: Mel McGlensey is Motorboat at The Butterfly Club - MICF

Review by Stephanie Lee


Melbourne International Comedy Festival truly is a festival where shows of all types can emerge and that means that there is weird and wonderful comedy like ‘Mel McGlensey is Motorboat’ that graces Melbourne’s stages. Melissa McGlensey along with director Sharnema Nougar has crafted a tight hour long show that combines clowning and audience participation in such a uniquely charming way. 


As the title suggest, the show follows Melissa McGlensey’s character motorboat (who is indeed a motorboat) and her journey to self-discovery. Motorboat has been tied down by her captain daddy for too long and finally works up the courage to go outside of the harbour and face her first storm. The narrative arch of the show is very well crafted with jokes aplenty the whole way along. 


McGlensey is also such a charismatic presence on stage, inviting the audience to participate at every step of the way in such a welcoming style. Her clowning is ridiculous in the best way, making her the silliest person in the room and putting the audience instantly at ease. She starts with simple questions like asking the audience members what kind of boat they are and then builds to bigger participation like standing on stage reading lines as the coast guard. It was very impressive to watch how quickly the audience started jumping at the chance to offer up answers and get involved with in the show, which just highlights how brilliantly McGlensey has integrated the participatory elements. 


The whole show is just downright fun. McGlensey is hilarious, over-the-top, and perfectly playful. Every moment presents an opportunity for humour in this work and every interaction with audience members provides plenty of delightful surprises. One of my favourite moments was an audience member proudly declaring that they were a yacht and then later in the show when asked how they knew something responded with ‘because yacht’s know things’. Truly the rapport between McGlensey and the audience was the highlight of the work, only made possible by McGlensey’s care in crafting it from the moment the show began. 


As you would expect nautical puns and sexual innuendo form the basis of the show’s content and it certainly does not disappoint. If you want a late night show of surprises and lots of laughs then you can’t go wrong with ‘Mel McGlensey is Motorboat’ at The Butterfly Club!


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