Steph Tisdell: The Pyramid review

Comedy, Stand Up
4 out of 5 stars
Steph Tisdell: The Pyramid Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2019
Photograph: Supplied

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

This rising stand-up star is back to tackle the social pyramid

According to Steph Tisdell, our world is arranged into pyramids. There are pyramids sorting us by socioeconomic status. There are pyramids sorting animals into their place on the food chain. There are pyramids telling us how much we should have of different types of food.

And while the goal is to generally get to the top of the pyramid, it’s not always so simple. For example, if you spend all your time at the top of certain food pyramids, you might find yourself in serious trouble.

The Pyramid is Tisdell’s second solo show, and she’s got an ease with an audience and a joke strike rate that many comedians with far more experience would envy. She’s funny on everything from One Direction to white guilt and even RuPaul and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (she rolls the drag queen and psychological theory together into one joke that’ll make every Drag Race fan question one of Ru’s catchphrases).

She’s warmly funny, immediately relatable, fast on her feet and generous with her audience. How generous? Well on the night that we reviewed, she was very sick and sweating profusely. But her audience had paid to see her, so she thought the least she could do was show up and stumble through.

She did far more than stumble through, and even in less-than-ideal circumstances put on a brilliant show. She’s also playing one of the smallest rooms around, and while it might be a cliché, it’s true when it comes to Tisdell: she’s destined for big things, and you’ll want to be able to say you saw her way-back-when in a room that holds 40 people.

Go behind the scenes at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

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