Whip-crack-away, it’s Melbourne Comedy Festival time again! Clara Cupcakes has been moseying around the festival range for a spell now, touring her particular brand of character comedy infused with musical and burlesque elements.
Any slowpoke can tell that she knows how to wear a gingham shirt, white hat, and cute Friesian-print cowgirl boots. But how did this Clara get to where she is now? Yee Howdy Rides Again gives us an insight into the Cupcakes mythology.
There’s quite a lot going on in Clara’s show, including her struggle with the evils of the western economic system known as Cow-pitalism. Out on the range, a young woman travelling solo could get into a peck o’ trouble amongst the coyotes and cacti. But – Tarrrr-nation! – there’s some steel to this cowgirl even though she don’t carry no shootin’ iron.
With director Elf Lyons riding shotgun on the production, the action and scene changes were snappy. A video screen and sound effects were used effectively, for comedic and dramatic purposes.
In playing different roles, Cupcakes zipped around the stage with the energy of a twister out on the prairie, and was about as unpredictable, which kept the laughs coming.
Yee Howdy is “strictly for audiences 18+” because of an unexpected – in both appearance and nature – burst of nudity. You won’t have seen anything like this in a typical saloon.
This thoughtfully silly show has some inventive use of props, and some audience participation. If you sit in the front row, you’ll be involved in both (as I was), and might find that quite a distraction from the various story threads. (I hope I wasn’t too “basic” for your needs Clara, but that was a hard prop to work with!)
Audiences will find that this cowgirl is an ‘udderly’ fabulous performer. In a festival heavy with the stand-up form, Yee Howdy Rides Again will suit those comedy sidewinders looking for some rootin’ tootin’ adventure in their night out. Git along little dawgie!
Clara Cupcakes: Yee Howdy Rides Again
Playbox – The Malthouse, 113 Sturt Street, Southbank
Performance: Thursday 30 March 2023 – 6.00pm
Season continues to 9 April 2023
Information and Bookings: www.comedyfestival.com.au
Image: Clara Cupcakes in Yee Howdy Rides Again – photo by Joel Devereux
Review: Jason Whyte