Alice Fraser - The Resistance

Alice Fraser likes to sit on stage and welcome audience members into the venue as they file in, so that the line between when you are fumbling around trying to find a seat and when The Resistance has commenced is blurred.

This works; her manner is warm and effusive and the lack of formality throughout the fifty-five minute set makes you feel as though you are having a chat with a voraciously intelligent, bloody funny friend.

The architecture of Fraser’s show is solid — she uses memories of a childhood home to structure a performance in which the flimsy nature of memory, as well as the difference between tragedy and comedy, are explored.

However, when the material meanders away from this solid foundational idea for too long a time the show encounters some difficulty. Fraser would do well to focus the majority of The Resistance on its central themes of unreliable memory and loss, as this provides it with a kind of overarching narrative structure.

Fraser supplements her stand-up with the occasional humorous song, and while there are the germs of some riotous parody folk songs here, the musical material could do with a good polish.

All in all, though, any criticism of the show arises from the fact that this is raw, new material. Fraser is masterful and self-assured comic. Once the creases are ironed out, so to speak, a show that is as wheeze-inducingly funny as it is heartbreaking is bound to emerge.

Alice Fraser may not know exactly what direction The Resistance is going in just yet, but I can promise you it won’t be boring.

★★★½

The Resistance will be running until February 28 at Gluttony