This week on TW Talks Tuesday, we chat to Holly Austin, the writer and performer of the comedy show Alphabet Soup.
What can people expect from your show at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival?
HA: My show Alphabet Soup is a beatbox-filled choose-your-own-adventure for the whole family.
I play Dr AudiYO!, a beatboxing clown, who with the help of the audience, goes on a surreal journey to slay the giant … all while spinning tunes using her ‘magic bumbag’ (a custom-made looping device that allows Dr AudiYO! to layer live beatbox and SFX creating soundscapes and musical numbers)
Think a kid-friendly, white girl Reggie Watts meets Mr Bean mashed with Dr Seuss
It will have your imagination buzzing and your inner kid dazzled and giggling.
What have you been up to since last time you were here?
HA: This is my first time performing solo in the MICF.
I’m a little bit scared and a lot excited. “Scar-cited” for short.
I’ve been working as a professional actor for the past 15 years across film, television and theatre.
Highlights include writing and performing on Foxtel’s Open Slather alongside some of my comedy heroes, Magda Szubanski, Marg Downey and Gina Riley, and touring my family theatre show Ruby’s Wish last year to The Sydney Opera House, The Art Centre and The Awesome Festival in Perth. I recently appeared in Channel 10’s How To Stay Married.
I have also been spotted performing as a musician/beatboxer with the likes of John Butler, Amanda Palmer, MC Common and Martha Wainwright.
Who should see your show, and why?
HA: I promise you won’t have ever seen a show like this before.
Mime doesn’t have to be daggy, clowns aren’t all scary and beatboxing isn’t just something only boys can do.
I’m only performing 10 shows across the festival, so you better get in quick and bring the kids — it’s all ages.
Alphabet Soup promises to be a truly unique and wondrous, music-filled experience, perfect for adventurous children and childlike adults.
What’s your No.1 tip for people coming to see a show at the comedy festival?
HA: Take a chance on someone you don’t know.
You might just discover the next big thang.
Which other comedians/shows are you keen to see at this year’s festival, and why?
HA: Hannah Gadsby “so glad she hasn’t quit comedy” said the entire world! … and she named her new show after her cute Lagotto dog Douglas.
What’s not to love?
I’m also so excited to see Nikki Britton’s new show Once Bitten — she’s not only hilarious but she is just pure joy to watch.
And I’ll be down to the Malthouse to check out the master storytelling of Daniel Kitson and the wild hilarity of The Listies new kids’ show R.O.F.L.S.H.A.L.B.O.W.C.O.
What do you love about Melbourne?
HA: I love Melbourne. I moved here from Sydney a few years ago and I’m never going back. (Please don’t tell Sydney that. If she finds out she’ll lock me out of her bars before midnight and kill the live music scene … wait hold … maybe she already did that? Awkward!).
Who or what is your comedic inspiration, and why?
HA: I’m inspired by the old school greats.
Female character comedians like Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett and Lily Tomlin.
I also love beatboxer/comedians like Beardyman and the surreal Reggie Watts.
Anything else you want us to know about you or your show?
Alphabet Soup is directed by acclaimed theatre-maker/director Miles O’Neil (one third of MICF Golden Gibbo Winners The Suitcase Royale).
Read more about Alphabet Soup here.