Tim Murray’s opening audio montage makes it clear that tonight’s event will be an utter ’90s pop culture-fest. Bursting onto the stage with his brilliant opening song detailing his lifelong obsession with fictional witches, Murray has us fixated. The song is filled with witty lyrics and plenty of TV and movie references and top it all – the star delivers a genuinely powerful vocal straight from Broadway. It’s a sign of things to come.

The show is part stand-up, part cabaret and Murray endeavours to take us on a comedy-musical journey through his youth and the fascinations with female witch characters he was often made to feel ashamed of: Sabrina, Elphaba, Winifred Sanderson, and Nancy from cult teen movie The Craft, among others. A key part of the show is Murray’s interaction with the crowd which he very much seems to relish, making it all feel like one big nostalgia party. He edits his jokes and banter according to the mood of the room and even builds towards an improvised song based on an audience member’s stories. We’re along for the ride and Murray expertly fosters the joyous atmosphere,

Perhaps the subject is slightly niche and anyone unfamiliar with the 90s zeitgeist references might lose out on a lot of the comic value, but the camp promo images for Witches makes it fairly obvious what we’re in for. It’s a celebration of queer youth, pop femininity, and unabashed diva worship. Some brief moments might veer into territory a little crass for some and at times we veer from the show’s core subject, but the emotional denouement is earnest and welcome. Tim Murray doesn’t just love witches. He really is witches.

‘Tim Murray is Witches’ runs until Mon 28 Aug 2023 at Underbelly Bristo Square – The Dairy Room at 21:20