Every year it comes around, and every year we tell ourselves that we won’t be dragged in again, not me, not this year. But, like moths to a flame, every year we are invariably drawn back to it, and it reaps its terrible, all-consuming toll on our lives. I am, of course, talking about McDonald’s Monopoly.
HOW MUCH MONEY HAVE I SPENT TRYING TO GET A FREE CHEESEBURGER, I MEAN OH MY GOD!?
We’ve all got something we’re obsessed with, often maybe just a little more than is healthy. Obsessed from Megan McCrea is a narrative of her personal foibles, including the aforementioned Maccas Monopoly (although she’s figured out a way to game this system, turning her – in her own words – into something of a Fagin figure). An hour of stories reflective of how she’s come to this point; everything from weight-loss fads, to being stuck in an antique furniture store with a hoarder, sometimes we find ourselves defined by these little compulsions, but more often we transcend them.
I probably laughed the hardest at her recounting of an incident involving her brief obsession with her neighbour’s “strange” behaviour, that escalates with such profound awkwardness that it borders on the absurd; indeed, at several points she has to stop herself to remark, “I swear this is true”. There’s audience participation taking the form of a confession booth – after all, none of us are perfect – and a somewhat creepy encounter with a local crime figure that resulted in her deciding it was probably best to move house.
The strength of the show is its personal narrative. McCrea is clearly putting the entirety of herself on stage in this, her debut solo show, and the ability to analyse and laugh at herself makes it clear why she’s a former RAW Finalist (2014). If any of it is exaggerated, it is in such a way that it is far from obvious, and highly relatable to the point that you will find yourself equal parts chuckling and nodding in recognition, and with a slight cringe (especially when it comes to McDonald’s Monopoly). The small space at Pilgrim makes for an intimate setting, a safe, confessional space, which is perfect for the atmosphere McCrea and her show generates.
Obsessed is at Pilgrim Bar until April 7 at 9:30pm (No Sundays) as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. $20 Full, $15 Conc. (Mon), all tickets $15 (Tightarse Tuesday), $25 Full, $20 Conc. (Wed – Sat). Tickets are available from the MICF website.