Veganism. For some, it’s a lifestyle choice. For others, it’s a revolution. There are vegans who politely decline the ice cream for dessert, and there are vegans who somehow miss the cruelty of feeding their physiologically carnivorous pets an herbivorous diet. There are vegans who join animal rights activists outside of circuses and factory farms, and there are vegans who will blast your children’s ears with a megaphone as you walk innocently through the CBD. In every case, the former are more than welcome to walk among us, and all power to them. They are doing something fantastic. Factory farms are the most destructive thing humanity has ever dreamed up, circuses don’t nor ever did need animals, and hey, more ice cream for the rest of us. But it’s the former breed who are ripe to be ground up and served as fodder for a witty comedian willing to make a few malnourished, dreadlocked, and prematurely aged enemies.
Being staged in the elegant upstairs section of Melbourne’s atmospheric Butterfly Club, Katie Visser’s “It’s Not Easy Being Green” declines the opportunity for ridicule outraged social-media activists, keyboard warriors and people who get about in public smelling like a dung heap make of themselves, and instead brings us a show designed around careful self-depreciation, herself being a committed but socio-politically moderate vegan. She gives us some impressively sung hits of the eighties to punctuate her caricature’s confessions and anecdotes regarding, and Joseph Daniel Junior’s piano renditions of classics from the likes of Springsteen, Carlisle and the musical Jesus Christ Superstar are superb. Meanwhile, her self-parody as a sort-of embarrassing aunt who’s discovered a new fad and is now intent on sharing it with all the world is amusing in an accessible manner. The lack of swearing or even remotely offensive content make it a rare cabaret number the whole family can enjoy. Adults seeking the typical raunchy, edgy night out will find it dreadfully pedestrian, but in another way, Visser’s show is refreshing.
We hope that Visser continues to work at her stage performance, refining her characters, and finding her voice up on the stage. There is a good deal of potential here.
Review by Max Davine