Comedy, Reviews, Stage, Theatre

Chase Paradise: Ho Life or No Life review ( Melbourne Comedy Festival)

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Woo woo woo hoo! The screams and hoots from a very partisan audience are the loudest I’ve heard in a while at a smallish preview show. We’ve heard a very ’80s radio announcer voiceover blast through the speakers, telling us all about the “girls on show” and the “meggaaastrip” that’s coming, as Chase Paradise sashays down the aisle in overalls and gold shovel to Kanye West’s Goldigger.

Paradise is an ex-stripper, arts graduate and sassy comedian who spills the beans on stripping and the stupidities of men. She’s unashamedly feminist, acerbic, political and on the pulse. She knows how to work the crowd, with her eyes and hands, asking for cash and using her assets the way she honed them in her stripping days.

It’s very funny, and at times slightly uncomfortable for us blokes as she rips into our gender’s foibles and privilege. She drags a hapless punter up on stage to demonstrate her signature lap dance in a mocking parody, complete with eye rolls, tongue curls and ennui. Then she tears the artifice away and deconstructs what’s she’s actually thinking as she does it. It rings true with authenticity and is raucously outrageous.

There are songs too – a ridiculously silly, dirty song about anal play and the to-the-point Fuck You, Pay Me.

It’s very funny, and at times slightly uncomfortable for us blokes as she rips into our gender’s foibles and privilege.

Paradise tells us about her (one) celebrity encounter and its consequences and her outing conversation with her dad. Both are no holds barred brilliant, made even funnier by the sheer luck (for us) that tonight her mum is here – a fact she refers to after every bit of R-rated material.

There are side comments about Brock Turner’s appeal against his rape sentence and an ongoing theme around positive consent. There is a whole pile of material on how strippers deal with the ridiculous questions and attitudes of their clients and how to work Instagram trolls for profit.

She cuts with precision but without bitterness. Paradise gives us the whole package, #metoo through the lens of a sex worker. While sometimes fittingly awkward for a man to see, it’s never less than hugely entertaining.

Whilst not one to bring the kids to, Chase Paradise’s Ho Life or No Life is a show that demands that you bring your boyfriend/partner/mates. First class rolling in the aisles comedy that has physicality, a strong mind and clear purpose. See her, you know you want to….

Chase Paradise is at the The Butterfly Club April 14-22

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