“Torum Heng is the best.”
This statement ran through my head, from the moment I sat down and noted the inverted ‘C’ in the ‘Box Office’ sign.
This statement continued to run on a loop over the next hour, as Ms Heng ran through a series of characters and musical numbers so well realised and perfectly pitched that by the climax Keep Out Of My Box had taken a running leap over every other show I’ve seen at the festival to take the comedy gold.
Set inside a tiny box office, the premise of the show is a meeting for women(?) who are trying to abstain from sex. Owing to events we never see, this meeting has to take place at the convener’s place of work while she finishes her shift.
Keep Out Of My Box is a perfect little microcosm, simultaneously a pulpit for and a window into the barely repressed libidos of its characters.
There no lulls, and every character is fully realised and funny in completely different ways. The show is the perfect showcase (NAILED IT) for Heng’s many talents.
Among the characters we get to see are Riley (a teenager who sings about lost love and a lost jumper with such passion that you’re not sure whether her passion is for jacket or its owner) Lillian (a self-described ‘amazing dancer’ who wishes there was a ‘sex WINZ’ to help her make up the deficit in her love life), and Sally (an ‘ah-ctor’, she comes to the meeting for experience so she can improve her ‘ah-cting’), Mel (the most forthright and proud of her sexuality, Mel comes up with the hashtag #pussypower, which I don’t believe is a thing but will probably become a thing after this).
There is no repression or shame here, which is ultimately the message of the show.
Torum Heng gives you a group of women with super-charged libidos who are ready to take on the world and will make no apologies for themselves or how they express their sexuality.
Keep Out Of My Box is great. Tour Heng is great. Grab a group of friends and sell out these last two nights so she can churn out twenty more gems like this. IT IS GREAT.
Keep Out Of My Box plays at Q Cellar until 14 May as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival 2016. Details see Comedy Festival