Melbourne Fringe review: Super Woman Money Program
The arrival of a particularly patronising email from her superannuation provider clued Elizabeth Davie into a rather concerning fact; did you know that women can retire with up to fifty percent less super than men? With that in mind; have you considered reusing teabags so that you can save more for retirement? Maybe use cheaper make-up? Apparently having a vagina is expensive business.
Super Woman Money Program is equal parts desperate grab for cash to make up for this discrepancy, and relatable comedy about the financial realities of being a woman. The show is split between an unnervingly realistic, but also slightly unhinged, self-help style workshop (the eponymous program), with a speaker who edges herself to orgasm merely describing what super actually is, and stand up, as Elizabeth tells of her own experiences and realisations after receiving the aforementioned email. Also, sock puppets and eighties classics.
What makes her such an intriguing performer to watch is that Davie is equal parts verbally and visually funny; she can make the most mundane things hilarious with her eyes alone, but when she opens her mouth, she is soft spoken and hilarious. She understands well how to use her space, an excellent skill to have!
Something that I found especially hilarious was her use of sock puppets as the voice of her emails; it’s amazing and amusing how much personality can be injected to a sock with googly eyes, especially with emails from her former boyfriend (“I like to make the puppet extra scrunched up for this”). It also really brings home the absolute ridiculousness of the money saving tips given to her by her super provider, as if they weren’t stupid enough, now they’re being delivered in a silly voice, by a sock.
The most powerful element of the show, though, was quite easily her reading of Jane Gilmore’s The Cost of Womanhood, rendered even more emotional by the gradual fading of the motivational speaker persona as the fairytale of John and Mary deteriorates into a harsh reality. Quite aside from the intense nature of the piece, it’s powerful in that it is a bold move on behalf of the performer, harshly jarring against the rest of what is, essentially, a comedy show. But perhaps that jarring is necessary, maybe this is the wakeup call that’s needed.
Super Woman Money Program is funny, but also informative. I look forward to seeing what comes next for Davie.
Super Women Money Program is at 7:45pm at the Lithuanian Club until the 22nd. Tickets are $25. It is created and performed by Elizabeth Davie, directed by Shannan Lim and Sharney Nougher.