Ellen Marning: Shticky Business {Melbourne International Comedy Festival} – Comedy Review

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Ellen Marning’s Shticky Business is seriously a hilarious corporate sketch show you won’t want to miss.

Sketch comedy is incredibly rare these days, particularly well-crafted and laugh out loud non-offensive sketch comedy. If like me you grew up in the days of Fast Forward, Full Frontal, and The Comedy Company, Shticky Business is right up there among the greats offering a live comedy show with hilarious characters from the corporate world that will surprise and entertain you. Tales of corporate debauchery and greed litter this one hour show with rapid-fire costume changes and a killer soundtrack that will have you in stitches. Throw in an oboe version of ‘Sandstorm’ from Darude and ‘Bills Bills Bills’ from Destiny’s Child and this might be one of the most endearing shows I’ve seen on the Melbourne Comedy Festival circuit.

The show stars and is written and produced by Ellen Marning, who I am dubbing ‘The Australian Anna Kendrick’. The all-singing, all-dancing, and hilariously funny Jack of all trades leads this show with such vigour, I am envious of her energy. Marning successfully switches between different corporate stereotypes like the successful woman in charge, Gina Mine-Hart – I mean Rinehart, a Green Guns manufacturer who is wanting to make sure the ethics of gun manufacturing are in check with the new age of considerate consumer.

The highlight of the show is definitely The Lobster who wants to change careers from being a vasectomy specialist to now being an artist and painter. Seeing The Lobster give an audience member a painting portrait is a high point of the show and everyone in the audience was in complete stitches by the reveal of the painting. Finding out what audience members learnt during COVID garnered great audience interaction and ‘The Online Shipping Song’ hilariously hit a little too close to home for me personally (my partner kept pointing out that was me).

The intimate stage and setting at StoryVille is the perfect setting for this show. Seeing the curtain open at the back of the stage with Marning running or entering from behind to surprise the audience makes it such a magical experience. Make sure you arrive early as the drinks in the cocktail bar are all themed to fairytales and Harry Potter, and you can take them into the show with you (even the teapot cocktails).

Marning proves she is a master of comedy delivering a one-woman self-produced show that takes stereotypes of the corporate world, pokes fun at its origins, and begs for change as the pandemic showed how much balance we really need in our lives.

Make time for Ellen Marning’s Shticky Business, it is a great night out at an enchanting venue you won’t soon forget.

Shitcky Business is now playing at StoryVille as part of the 2022 Melbourne International Comedy Festival until the 10th of April.
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