Isabelle Carney: Stinking Hot Trash

MICF-Isabelle-Carney-Stinking-Hot-TrashIsabelle Carney’s Stinking Hot Trash is the kind of gloriously silly garbage that makes you want to quit your joyless job and take up a career in waste management.

A chaotic blend of personal survival anecdotes, social commentary and oppressed modern furniture, Carney’s 50 minute set is cleverly ridiculous and delivered with such commitment that laughter is unavoidable.

At times quite soft spoken and exposed, Carney never misses a chance to lead you astray and land a line. There is so much talent here, and a brilliant mind for comedy coupled with a clear joy in performing that together ensure the audience is engaged from start to finish.

She excels at embracing the awkwardness intrinsic in standing in front of people and sharing the bizarre thoughts that made you laugh. It is at once an endearing and effective manner for a comedian.

There are many highlights but Carney’s suite of bit characters sporting unique but unmistakable accents and some incredibly silly side effects of childhood trauma were fully-formed and viscerally funny.

The characters are brilliant but by sticking them in some truly stupid situations they become mesmerizing. The show wanders into some quite startling personal territory toward the end, adding depth to Carney’s self-styled self-realisation journey.

Balancing the tone set by sharing genuine personal struggle in a comedic context is a hard thing to do but Carney manages it superbly, allowing us time to digest the hardship before dissecting the meaninglessness of it all with her flair for the absurd.

Lighting and multimedia effects are used throughout but never overshadow Carney’s presence. A few skits are accompanied by pre-recorded material that Carney uses to engage with and take the piss out of herself and her broader social context. The production values here are spot on for the material and I would love to see a set like this on a bigger stage in the future.

Isabelle Carney: Stinking Hot Trash
The MC Showroom, Level 1 – 48 Clifton Street, Prahran
Performance: Tuesday 4 April 2023
Season: 29 March – 8 April 2023 (ended)

Image: Isabelle Carney (supplied)

Review: Daniel Townsend