Doug Rintoul: Brave and Bold {Melbourne International Comedy Festival} – Comedy Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

In Brave and Bold, Douglas Rintoul shares of his struggles in the arts while reflecting on his self-worth. There’s nothing more soul crushing than being rejected for being yourself, especially when you’re a music theatre graduate with hopes, dreams, and expectations. Nobody knows this better than Doug himself – a self-confessed musical theatre tragic in recovery.

Brave and Bold is the perfect mashup between cabaret and sketch comedy. Every moment spent with Rintoul in the room feels like a deep and meaningful therapeutic session with a friend on what is and isn’t right within the industry, all the while secretly gushing about international theatre legends at the same time.

From various crazy musical auditions, b-grade TV singing competition celebrities always getting the part, the difference between two different wolves, tiny hands, one-man boyband goodness, a toxic medical hypothesis, jesters being the ideal job position, a love of fedoras, a Dua Lipa pet shop, and a subtle obsession with turtles, Douglas Rintoul leaves no stone (or shell) unturned in this severely entertaining feel-good romp of a show.

Despite Doug poking fun at himself, he is insanely talented. He may declare that he can successfully strum a guitar, play the piano/keyboard and sing, although not simultaneously (apparently one of his biggest flaws), but I can’t do any of these things! Not only was I quite jealous of his ability to play various instruments, but knowing he wrote every original song in this show impresses even more.

Vocally, Douglas Rintoul ensures that his musical theatre chops are displayed. His diction is super clear and you can easily tell from the first few lyrics and notes alone that not only is Rintoul well trained, but he has a massive student debt to show for it. Just when you’re at a point of forgetting Rintoul’s theatre beginnings, believing he’s more comedy than musically inclined, Rintoul can sure belt a tune and leave you in awe should he so choose to.

Douglas Rintoul is fearless and boldly makes eye contact with every patron in the room. The way he addresses his audience feels personal, like he’s bravely confiding his deeply rooted frustrations with only you. I wouldn’t even be able to share which part of Brave and Bold was a highlight as the show flows so seamlessly and brilliantly, I honestly believe that this piece of theatre could easily translate to the screen, Ferris Bueller style.

What is musical theatre’s loss, is Australian comedy’s gain. While Douglas Rintoul may still feel a bit jaded about not being able to be cast in big musical productions, Rintoul having found his niche in comedy is as perfect as finding the last missing piece of a puzzle you’ve spent months trying to build. It is clear that Douglas Rintoul is content and proud of who he is today, and so he should be. This not-so-secret songwriter was born to be on stage and no Aussie b-grade celebrity, green witch, misplaced mermaid, ancient rapping accountant, or epic French battle over bread is going to take this away from him.

Douglas Rintoul’s Brave and Bold is currently playing in Melbourne as part of the 2024 Melbourne International Comedy Festival at The Butterfly Club – Downstairs until the 7th of April.
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