FOMO: The Fear of Missing Out

Zoe McDonald's one-woman show is a masterpiece of characterisation, and a very successful piece of comedy.

This is an very well executed piece of comedy by an extremely skilled performer.

Zoe McDonald is the star of a local radio show about her life. She is joined by her co-presenter (a D-List celebrity), her very zen producer and a host of guests on the show. All of them are played by McDonald. Over the hour, McDonald is cajoled by the others into examining her life to establish whether she has the trendy new social disease, “the fear of missing out,” or FOMO. She is bullied by a tattooist from her childhood and an over-keen beautician determined to give her a vajazzle; the whole thing is intercut with ad breaks, also delivered by McDonald.

It is a very impressive performance. McDonald's 13 different characters are all perfectly differentiated. At times, she delivers lightning-fast dialogue between different characters, all in completely different emotional states, without a moment of confusion for her audience. Her central characters are nuanced and her cameos are all differently funny. They are also extremely well written. The characters range from completely naturalistic to straight up caricature, but neither feels at all incongruous.

The show is extremely well put together. It takes place in a real radio recording studio, and the audience wears headphones. McDonald is mic'd, which is a surprisingly effective way of generating the atmosphere of being on air. The structure of the show is excellent and everything escalates into something very, very funny.

There is the occasional misstep. At one point, something happens that basically amounts to assault of one of the characters, but it isn't treated as anything serious by the narrative. Instead, it's used as a plot device, which is a surprising lapse of judgement in such an emotionally intelligent show.

In general, though, this is an very well executed piece of comedy by an extremely skilled performer.

Reviews by Grace Knight

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Live from the studios of Radio Forth 1, Zoe McDonald and her 12 alter-egos broadcast their own radio programme. A theatre comedy beaming direct to your headphones. 'There is such polish in the craft and flow of the show, and such charisma in the delivery of the material, that FOMO goes down like fine champagne, dry and intoxicating’ (Australian). ‘This irreverent and skilled comic performance borrows something of the lustre of the golden age of Australian sketch comedy’ (Age). ‘Best Comedy at the Adelaide Fringe’ (Adelaide Advertiser).