Alice Fraser: The Resistance

You are immediately struck by Alice Fraser’s triumphant gentility as she graces the stage. With a razor-sharp political and social awareness, her polite, assured delivery is no-doubt inspired by her Buddhist upbringing: something that her new show The Resistance focuses on at length.

Fraser’s premise and performance is certainly intelligent enough to warrant your time.

Her story-telling is some of the best you’ll hear. As Fraser analyses her thrown-together family home and the “kind bigotry” of her late grandmother, you laugh along with immediate emotional attachment.

You’re always on a journey towards poignancy with Fraser – this is observational comedy with a deeper poeticism than most. Tension compels you, whimsical observations make you titter and pithy analyses make you think. However, if you’re looking for a laugh-a-minute type of show you’ll be disappointed.

Last year Fraser delivered five star show Savage which wowed with its emotion, humour and humanity. Unfortunately, this time, her new material didn’t pack quite as much of a punch.

While Fraser is a master of nuance and captivates an audience with ease, the main crux of her new show – an anecdote about a woman on the street throttling her child, which then leads to a debate around what makes a ‘good’ person – seems too strange and unimaginable an experience to revolve her comic thoughts around. What’s more, most of her jokes depend on preaching to the already-converted liberal Fringe audience and a couple of her extended metaphors feel a little strained.

Saying that, her visual gags really hit – delivering a waxing anecdote from the position she was in at the time, for instance, was hysterical–, her musical numbers charm with their whimsy and her call-backs are constantly amusing.

Despite The Resistance’s weak points, Fraser’s premise and performance is certainly intelligent enough to warrant your time. 

Reviews by Sarah Gough

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The Blurb

Alice Fraser’s singular take on the world is ‘as smart as it is delightful’ (Herald Sun). Raised Buddhist by a lapsed Catholic and recovered Jew in her Holocaust-survivor grandmother’s home, Alice Fraser chronicles the world of her childhood through the lives and eccentricities of the people sharing her falling-down home: the manic-depressive Chilean gardener; the Christian Hungarian woman who should have been her grandmother’s mortal enemy but somehow wasn’t; the veiled Indian woman downstairs. ***** ‘Stand-up like you’ve never seen it’ ( ‘Hilarious, brutal, heartbreaking’ (Scotsman). ***** ‘See this show’ (Herald Sun).