REVIEW: Melanie Bracewell: Melodrama (NZ International Comedy Festival)

Review by Rachael Longshaw-Park

[Green Light]

Melanie Bracewell is quickly carving out a path in the NZ comedy scene with her impressive list of credits at only 22 years old. You might know her from The Project, 7 Days or from her time on Radio Hauraki, and in 2018 Bracewell is stepping onto the stage for her hour-long comedy festival show: Melodrama. Bracewell is one of five comedy acts named as nominee for the Billy T awards this year.

Bracewell starts the show with a disclaimer: she came up with the title of her show long before Lorde came up with her number one selling concept album by the same name, but Lorde just got to the limelight first. She dispels a few more similarities that feed into her self-conceived competition with Lorde before launching into a show that takes us on a brief tiki tour of Melanie’s life from family quirks to awkward GP visits.

As comedians go Bracewell is incredibly likable and her material proves why. She often references her family and how much she enjoys them, finding comedy in the time spent amongst different family members. She outs a few family jokes (much to the chagrin of the relatives in the audience on opening night) and shows off her keen observation of humour in daily life. Her presence is warm and casual, keeping the audience hooked even during some of her longer tangents. Bracewell’s comedy is littered with plenty of tongue in cheek dad-jokes and cringey one liners that make her laugh just as much as her audience.

Whilst often touted as a rising star, Melanie Bracewell proves herself as worthy to stand amongst her fellow comedians as an established artist and is strong contender for the Billy T award this year. Despite the name of the show there isn’t anything overly melodramatic about Bracewell, which is part of her charm. She’s relatable, funny, and sitting with her for an hour feels like sitting with your funniest friend.

Melanie Bracewell plays The Basement until 18 May.

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