Tessa Waters: Over Promises

Following the blowout success of WOMANz last year, I had high expectations for Tessa Waters’ new show Over Promises.

If you appreciate wacky, prepare to have the time of your life.

What is indisputable is this physical comedian is the queen of stupidity, emerging at a time when we all need a bit of frivolity among the depressing truths of today’s society. However this new show in its entirety was whimsical to the point where there was nothing groundbreaking being illustrated.

Just saying this irritates me, because it should not be mistaken, Tessa Waters oozes charm and charisma in greater quantities than Mary Poppins on Prozac. But this is the exact reason why I was expecting magic, as last year’s show was far more empowering and focussed.

Her style is a combination of dance, clown and mime, which in small doses is palatable, but for an hour there needs to be more light and shade. Tessa begins by showcasing pelvis exercises, clenching and unclenching her buttocks, to then give birth to a metaphorical baby. With this routine, once or twice is enough, however she continued to repeat the sequence a number of times, which in the end became stale. The routine did pick up toward the middle when she used a male audience member as a human hula hoop, so far on the spectrum of stupidity that it tips over into being hilarious.

Another well executed mime was Tessa swimming, treading water and treading in dangerous water, where she played the roles of both the drowning victim and the lifeguard. Add in a dance for good measure and she’s well in her stride (plus if her hip gyrations can’t put a smile on your face, nothing will). It’s hard to explain most of the physical clowning that took place within the hour.

There was a satirical take on theatre, busting out a couple of spray bottles called “stage tears” and squirting water at the audience, and there was even a mime sequence to a song where she was on the verge of vomiting every time the song bellowed a gut-blowing, “hur”.

For her last Fringe show, Tessa became a character with an accent somewhere between Spain and Romania, but this time chose to speak in her native Aussie tongue. It may have been funnier for her to adopt another character for this show.

Tessa Waters is a lot like Marmite because if you’re not one for unabashed stupidity teamed with a healthy dose of toilet humour, this is not the show for you, however if you appreciate wacky, prepare to have the time of your life. At one point in the show Tessa asked, “do you want to go in here?” pointing at her mind, and do you know what, I’d still go there again.

Reviews by Sophia Charalambous

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The Blurb

Multi award-winning Australian comedian Tessa Waters is back with a new hour of stupidity. Dance, clown, sketch and gurning combine in this ridiculous genre busting show that has notoriously ruined pants across the globe. Tessa is a Gaulier-trained dynamo and professional idiot, whose multi award-winning physical comedy WOMANz (2015 Edinburgh Fringe) broke records at Melbourne Fringe Festival in 2014 for being the first show ever to win three awards and went onto tour around Australia and the UK to widespread acclaim.

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