Penny Greenhalgh is Pony Greenhorse, lead character in what may be a murder mystery upon a cruise ship. Greenhalgh describes the show as having no plot with a possible twist (but not likely) at the end but a range of first class laughs. This description is incredibly accurate and describes Pony Greenhorse perfectly.
The premise of the show is that we, the audience, are guests of a famous author, renowned for her Pony Greenhorse series and in the midst of entertaining she finds the inspiration for a new tale. A murder upon a cruise ship, in which Pony Greenhorse somehow traverses form a homicide detective to a gold-digger. The beginning of the show makes sense; the plot is sound and easily understood, it’s after this point however that the show begins to break down a little.
Greenhalgh switches through characters swiftly, adapting a new persona every five minutes or so that seems to have an elaborate dance or monologue but really doesn’t contribute all that much to the show. This isn’t to say that her characters are brilliant – because they are. Each character draws resounding laughs from the audience and it’s safe to say that everyone enjoyed their night.
However, the structure of the show needs tightening. It felt as though it was a blend between a sketch show and impressions, though funny, most felt out of place and unnecessary, it needed to either stick more strictly to the premise of a novel being written or kept as simply a sketch show about different characters. By the end there was a general query of what exactly the show was about, the premise is a good idea but the way it was carried out lacks structure and a point.
Pony Greenhorse is definitely one of the quirkier shows at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Greenhalgh is a strong player of individual characters. A show definitely worth seeing if you prefer something a little different to the standard stand-up nature of the festival.
Pony Greenhorse is showing at ACMI as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival from March 30th to April 23rd. Tickets can be purchased here.