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Review: Prue Blake at The Town Hall - MICF

Review by Thomas Gregory

RAW Comedy 2021 winner Prue Blake is making her debut this year with Unfriended, a show that will feel a little too real for many people. With a heavy focus on those high school friendships from so long ago, Blake asks, “What is a friend, and why do we not just get rid of them?”

As many comedians do, Prue Blake relies on the stories of her past, swinging her baggage around her head as she regales the audience with your typical stories of losing her virginity, losing her friends, and losing her booking for schoolies. With each, she finds reasons to laugh at the awkwardness of the teenage years and how they can set us up to have strange ideas about friendship. She also covers the dangers of workplace friendships, why “mothers aren’t friends”, and how the best analogy for such relationships is a gruelling marathon.

Blake has a relaxed stage presence, and part of you will indeed want to be her friend. You could just as easily experience her humour sitting in a cafe with her as you could in the more formal setting of a stage and audience. This can be pretty appealing. Blake’s interactions with the audience are also relaxed and fun, with one lucky member chosen as her friend - for the night.

Unfriended is a classic stand-up set, just a microphone and a personable performer getting laughs from a willing audience. In a festival filled with props, costuming, screens, and instruments, Blake’s performance is refreshing in its simplicity.

Prue Blake is still relatively raw, however, so you shouldn’t expect the perfectly polished sets you may see from festival veterans. Some stories from her past are not quite as rare or embarrassing as she would like them to be, and often you expect her to call back to a joke that feels forgotten.

However, just when you might start to find Unfriended pedestrian, Blake will shock you back into enjoyment with something a little more titillating and unexpected. These little diversions and shaking up of the norm helped elevate the night and make something memorable out of something not quite perfect.

Prue Blake is why the comedy festival is so great - she is someone so easy to like, making us laugh for nearly an hour and making us feel like we haven’t used up all our energy by seeing a show. Adding Unfriended to a list of great Town Hall performances to see this weekend should be an easy call for anyone who cringes over their high school relationships, appreciates a comedian who doesn’t rely on more than a microphone, or just really loves Tubthumping. Prue Blake is worth checking out.

Image Supplied


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