Review: Massive Bitch – Chelsea Zeller
Massive Bitch is a one woman show following an executive producer’s last day on a talk show set. ‘Victoria’ is ambitious, desperate to save the flailing talk show to earn a show of her own.
Performed by Chelsea Zeller, the comedian nailed her character swaps, each having their own strong persona, accent, and wacky mannerisms. Zeller relies on her acting to create the appearances of each character; it’s impressive to watch her create characters within seconds without a single costume change. From high-achieving, high-maintenance hosts, to an airy-fairy medium, or an angry, hungry pop-star, Zeller is 100% believable as every character. Some are deliberately cringeworthy, like the alpha-douche male TV host who Zeller uses to deliver some of the witty social commentary she has woven throughout the show. Others are less antagonising and simply funny, like a politician who made full use of every Aussie political cliché ever, and had to resort to the Thesaurus during her speech.
The highlight of the show were the cut-away ads, which were as random as they were funny. Whether you left feeling the need to buy some rope, or to subscribe to a diet plan of your own, the ads provided a welcome break from the chaos of the show and it’s many wacky characters.
Furthering her comical critique of Aussie TV, we meet the next Bachelor, a man with not a lot to say, very mumbled, very fast. Zeller doesn’t just rely on accents and verbal cues, each character has their own unique posture – such as old mate Bachelor who is quite the man-spreader – and Zeller embodies them with utter conviction.
The title, Massive Bitch, is somewhat indicative of the style of the show – rude, satiristing, and punchy. Some audiences may not enjoy the seedier aspects of the show, as sexual humour and innuendo played a large role in the show through the few seedy characters Zeller portrayed working on the station. However, there were several moments where these jokes really hit the mark, notably when Zeller was doing improv with the audience. Zeller is obviously quick on her feet, and gets away with the level of audience participation she invites.
Whilst the show may not be everybody’s cup of tea, the audience thoroughly enjoyed Zeller’s flamboyant performance and over-the-top storyline. If you like Australian politics, satire and variety shows Massive Bitch might just be a great show for you.
Massive Bitch is on every night at 7pm until Sunday 8 April at The Butterfly Club as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Tickets, show details and accessibility information are available via the MICF website or the Butterfly Club website.