Flo & Joan: Sweet Release {Melbourne International Comedy Festival} – Comedy Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed and preferred musical comedy. From the likes of Tripod and Tim Minchin, to Eddie Perfect and Sammy J – there’s just something about humour through music that I find fun, entertaining, and incredibly intelligent.

Cut to 2022 and my latest love is musical comedy duo – Flo & Joan, consisting of UK sisters Rosie and Nicola Dempsey. Returning to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival for the first time in two years, the comedy pair currently hold a residency at The Famous Spiegeltent, right outside Arts Centre Melbourne, with their new show, ‘Sweet Release’.

Despite the two returning to the Melbourne festival, admittedly, this was my first-time seeing Flo & Joan. My only knowledge of them prior was their song, ‘I Drank Too Much’, which I find incredibly funny. However, I was quick to learn that this song was not part of their new show.

Complete with a keyboard and various choices of percussion instruments, Flo & Joan’s ‘Sweet Release’ covers various topics from dating apps, alien boyfriends, fringes, friends that they don’t like, school musical trauma, and an ornament belonging to their mother of ‘a witch on a goose’ that they both severely dislike.

It’s not all laughs and giggles though. There is a song in the set that is about walking home alone at night, which despite its humour, really hit home addressing how unsafe it feels right now be a woman in a man’s world. I loved their bluntness, their perfect diction, their honesty, and as a fellow female and feminist, I really appreciated this song being part of their show.

Despite the two taking turns to take cheeky jabs at one another and complain about each other’s company while educating Australian audiences on what a ‘wet room’ is, it is evident that Flo & Joan are very close. If anything, I was surprised to learn that they are sisters, and once I knew, I couldn’t help but feel envious of how close they actually were and how well they worked together.

The show itself, ‘Sweet Release’ is cleverly thought out and everything mentioned is worth noting, has a purpose, and will find itself looped back at the end, staging a conclusion that will have you thinking that Flo & Joan are little geniuses. My only regret is that I didn’t see their previous show back in 2019 and I am unable to compare this new show to their previous work, as well as hear other songs not part of this set. I will definitely be seeing their shows in future whenever they return to Melbourne from now on.

Flo & Joan are super talented and hilarious sisters who are the perfect combination of sweet and sassy. Their lyrics are unexpectedly thought provoking and their harmonisation is superb. Not everyone is best friends with their sibling. But if you are, travelling around the world and singing silly original songs together while making people laugh, doesn’t sound so bad at all.

Flo & Joan are currently performing at The Famous Spiegeltent, Arts Centre Melbourne as part of the 2022 Melbourne International Comedy Festival until the 24th of April 2022.

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