We all have hang ups. Pet peeves. Petty grievances. Emily Tresidder wants to help you get over yours.
Tresidder’s new show No, You Hang Up, starts when the audience arrive to find a pen, a piece of paper and a request on their chairs: write down one of your hang ups. Tresidder then sorts through the suggestions, selects three, and hangs them up on the clothes line behind her (along with some brightly coloured socks). These hang ups form the rough structure of the show, allowing Tresidder three distinct beats, targeted audience interaction and hang ups to riff on and maneuver her own material around. It’s a clever conceit that also provides instant audience commitment; everyone is wondering if one of the hang ups picked belongs to them.
Most of the material comes from Tresidder’s life, and from the comedian’s own hang ups. Observational anecdotes provide a slice of life insight rather than shooting for universal relatability, a narrow focus that fits nicely with the wider theme. Tresidder drew the most laughs when she threw her physicality behind her punchlines. Each facial contortion and shoulder wiggle caused an outburst of laughter from the sold out crowd. She leverages her wide-eyed intensity to comedic effect, but occasionally it seems to put the audience on the back foot, and she needs to bring in the physicality to land the joke.
The core emotional beat of No, You Hang Up isn’t so much earned narratively as it is a framing device for the whole show. It’s something Tresidder, with her seemingly boundless energy and mischievous persona, presents as a belief, a goal we should all strive towards. It’s this positivity, alongside the lighthearted comedy to be found in daily annoyances, that makes No, You Hang Up so charming.
No, You Hang Up is on at 7:45pm at the Imperial Hotel until 22 April as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Tickets are available online via the MICF website.