Woman of the Hour is Sophie Joske’s foray into the life of a past Hollywood starlet – Cassandra Barbitoll. Woman of the Hour is an incredibly funny (not to mention impressive) array of characters all portrayed by Joske, but also a somewhat sobering and thoughtful look at the lifespan of a child actor within the early years of Hollywood.
Set within one of the rooms at The Butterfly Club, a quirky venue that matches the atmosphere of the show almost perfectly. Joske enters the stage as Barbitoll – waiting expectantly for the audience to cheer. She has encompassed the character of Barbitoll perfectly, every movement embracing Cassandra Barbitoll’s main encouragement during the show – that she’s a star.
The story played out on stage is an impressive but slow look into the rise and demise of an adorable child actor (something that unfortunately may ring true for many child actors). Joske has crafted an intriguing look into this life – the constant pressure upon females within show business and the devastating affects that it can have upon a young mind. Her character of Barbitoll stays positive throughout though, resilient to the struggles that the characters faces – which does leave a slightly unfinished feeling to the entire performance.
Joske herself is fantastic in the role – not only does she play the role of Cassandra, she also flips into around thirty different characters throughout. Within a few seconds at one point it seems that she’s portrayed five different individuals, all simply through the changing of her posture and voice. It is so very impressive to watch what is essentially a one woman show that had probably more than five notable characters that could easily be recalled after. It is clear a lot of work has gone into this show and it has paid off tremendously.
Woman of the Hour is a great break from the repetition of stand up during this years Melbourne International Comedy festival. There’s an air of sketch comedy about it – without the blatant ridiculousness that can haunt that genre. Sophie Joske has put together a thought provoking piece while still creating spreads of laughter throughout the night. Definitely worth catching during the festival.
Woman of the Houris showing at The Butterfly Club 1st April – 11th April as part of the 2019 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Tickets can be purchased via the comedy festival website or at the venue.