There’s a lot to like about Yve Blake. The Australian is a classic song-and-dance comedy performer – bags of energy, Cyndi Lauper hair, over-exaggerated emotions that spill off the stage, but this show in which she performs musical comedy based on the lies of strangers she’s collected via her website feels flimsy.
Crowdsourcing your material from the internet can feel a little hack these days (see Bec Hill and Eleanor Tiernan for just two who have it in this year’s set), but it’s possible to get away with it, if you do enough with it. Blake has built her responses into a structure well enough, and it progresses to a climax of the biggest lies of all, but she doesn’t really build on what she’s been given. Either she reads them in the imagined voice of the correspondent, or shoehorns them into song very awkwardly.
As mentioned, she’s big at song-and-dance, but the lies of strangers sung nearly verbatim over backing tracks scan badly and have erratic rhyming schemes, without being anarchic enough to charm in that way. The best song is the most structured one – the tale of a schoolgirl pretending to be a boy online to fool her friend, sung in a Weimar cabaret style.
Parts of the show do have their own daft appeal. We get to muck around with inflatable dolphins (part of a segment about lies we tell kids), and she’s not afraid of making herself look foolish for laughs, but she’s a much better performer than the show she’s performing.