REVIEW: Tessa Waters Over Promises (NZ International Comedy Festival)

Review by Lauren Sanderson

Tessa Waters

[Promising would be an understatement]

Australian comic Tessa Waters is certainly not your average comedian. The multi-award winner is back in full force bringing a whole lot of crazy to the Basement Theatre, with her wild show Over Promises.

I can PROMISE there are no corny one liners or gags about Brexit or Trump in this act. Instead you’ll encounter an hour of pure absurdity where you’ll witness a lot of bizarre body jiggling, millions of shiny sequins and discussions about female genitalia.

After studying mime at Philippe Gaulier in France, Waters has transformed herself into a modern day clown. She showcases some of her best mime sequences, from demonstrating her morning fitness routines to hula hooping a grown man, with ease. Her endlessly expressive face and boundless self-confidence not only adds to the hilarity but it also keeps the depressing judgment of the outside world at bay.

Feminism takes a strong lead in the show, though the performance doesn’t rely on one theme. The queen of comedy lets her imagination run wild, spurting out bite-sized sketches every five minutes. One minute we’re trapped in a water slide and the next we’re putting human remains into a blender.  The options of where her imagination can take us are endless.

Audience participation plays a big part in the show and no back row seat can save you from partaking. From start to finish you’ll be pushed out of your comfort zone: expect everything from frantic twerking, catching imaginary new-borns, and creating a massacre of bizarre chainsaw sound effects.

It’s the over-the-top nature of her performance that leaves the audience in hysterics and her ability to take the mickey out of herself leaves even more of an impression, creating a lasting connection between her and the audience.

Waters’ comedy is simple yet pure genius, she will command your attention without having to say a word. You know you’ve witnessed comedy gold when the artist can make an audience crack up with just her elbow.

It’s fresh, exciting and outrageously bonkers! What more could you ask for?

Tessa Waters performed 2-6 May. Details see Comedy Festival

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