Melbourne Fringe: Karen From Finance is Out Of Office LIVE

Melb-Fringe-Karen-From-FinanceIt’s all very well being a dedicated career woman like Karen from Finance, but you can only accumulate so much leave before the boss insists you take it. So, what happens if you don’t have a life outside of work? We see one (pretty rough) path in Karen From Finance is Out of Office LIVE

As Melbourne Fringe 2020 is almost exclusively digital, the title isn’t so accurate. Instead, we have a recording of this one-woman show from Perth’s 2020 Fringeworld, filmed in some kind of spiegeltent.

Suppose, like me, you weren’t familiar with this (according to the Fringe blurb) “Beloved Australian Drag Queen”. Fairly quickly you would suspect that Karen from Finance likes lip synching to pop songs … and that the plot here is a fairly flimsy scaffolding for this.

If you weren’t already a fan of the genre, this show might not change your mind. It didn’t help that, particularly early on, camera angles couldn’t clearly show us the emoting that Karen depends on in “selling” us song lyrics.

However, the show charms with scenes of a certain uncouth, chaotic energy. Freed from the strictures of her efficient work identity, a video montage showed Karen on the mother of all benders. The care taken with her costuming, hair and, makeup accentuate her, um, womanly attributes, giving her wide appeal.

So extreme is the debauchery that Karen ends up stuck in the middle of nowhere (Perth’s not that bad!). If she’s going to get back to Melbourne to restart work, she’ll need to tap into her fearsome organisational skills.

With some Dolly Parton, bitchy asides, and a little lesson on work-life balance, this has some entertaining moments. Get a couple of drinks in, and Karen from Finance will be good for a few laughs.


Karen From Finance is Out of Office LIVE
Melbourne Fringe Digital Program
Performance: Thursday 19 November 2020
Season continues to 29 November 2020
Information and Bookings: www.melbournefringe.com.au

Image: Karen From Finance (supplied)

Review: Jason Whyte

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