Melbourne Fringe 2017
Following a sold-out premiere season at Melbourne International Comedy Festival, award winning duo Alice Tovey and Ned Dixon are back to rewrite the “man”ual with their exciting show, Mansplaining, at Melbourne Fringe.
Mansplaining is a journey of masculinity, misogyny and the millennial man presented with mixed media of music, voice and kazoos. Alice Tovey and her keyboardist and writing collaborator, Ned Dixon, present an enjoyable hour of comedy, gags and Tovey singing seven new compositions which all aid in explaining the bane of her world. Mansplaining. A world where men seek to negate perfectly correct contributions by women in everyday life.
After her opening number (which is about her and her gender’s contribution to, and struggle with, the male-dominated world) Tovey explains to the audience that this show is not for men. Not that she hates all men, because she already owns one (she proudly declares). She continues to address the world of institutionalised misogyny that dominate our everyday lives. After dealing with female political wannabes and punitive religion she slows the tempo of the show as she admits that she has fallen for a man of her own. It’s a touching human moment and she navigates her cisgender journey in finding it beautifully. She ends her show with heartfelt tribute to her dad and somewhat reconciles her attitudes toward the tenderness that men can have.
Almost all of her songs are fast paced and the detail within them so rich with content, it is easy to miss some of the nuances. Tovey and Dixon’s interplay is genuinely hilarious as Dixon, a gay man, falls into the trap of mansplaining purely based on his gender. Not that Tovey is unprepared, as she has a spray bottle she’s not afraid to use to put Dixon back in his place.
Tovey’s vocal control is good as she navigates the various songs. Her segues and storytelling that weave the songs together are also funny, heartfelt and astute. She’s not shy in dealing with socio-political issues head-on. Her introduction of The Destiny’s Child sock puppets for some diversity into her show is a hysterical moment.
Mansplaining is an energetic and deliciously cynical feminist political (and musical) comedy.