Travel is a well covered topic when in comedy. Everyone has wondered at some point or other just what exactly the deal with aeroplane food is, only to Google it and find a perfectly logical scientific explanation. In Melbourne, many of the weeknight comedy rooms are frequented by travellers, English backpackers, European exchange students, American businessmen. There’s a reason its common comedy fare, travel is a very relatable theme. It’s unsurprising then that Lauren Bok, Chelsea Hughes and Megan McKay have managed to build an hour of sketch around all things travel, from packing to Trip Advisor.
The trio have a myriad of amazing props and costumes. The technical side of the production is tight and professional. There’s even a projector and some slide shows, harking back to the days when that was the way friends forced travel photos on each other. The costume changes are snappy, and the transitions are mostly smooth, though when they are a little bungled there’s humour to be found in that too.
Wander Woman is a neat and well rehearsed show. Each sketch is succinct, with clear beats and through lines. McKay, Hughes and Bok are all talented performers, injecting just the right amount of themselves into each character they play. Bok comes off as the wild one, with her constantly shifting facial expressions and intense physicality. Hughes is the strong one, often delivering the final punch line with a great sense of KAPOW. McKay is the timid one, secretly ensuring that everyone reaches their destination on time and in one piece.
The material itself is solid, but given the familiarity it feels oddly safe. There’s something very polite and clean about the comedy of Wander Women, even in its dirtiest moments. Perhaps the material is too broad and too relatable, lacking in instances of specificity to make each joke stand out. The trio do their best to combat this by inserting their own experiences and photographs into the show, which helps break up the sketches a little.
Wander Women is a comfortable, giggle filled ride over familiar terrain from a slightly different angle. The 6pm timeslot is appropriate, and the show makes for a friendly, gentle start to any evening of comedy.
Wander Women is on at 6pm at the Portland Hotel every night except Monday until April 19th. Tickets cost $15 to $22 and are available online, at the door, and at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival box office.