Geraldine Quinn: Broad {Melbourne International Comedy Festival} – Comedy Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

After seeing ‘Broad’ I have decided that Geraldine Quinn is my queen of cabaret. She’s hilarious, musically gifted more than words can express, and is someone I want to be my fairy godmother so bad. Broad is a production where you’ll see Quinn be a quadruple threat, especially after her magic at the end.

As a kid, I saw the 1982 movie version of Annie. Growing up with a pesky red-haired sister, I enjoyed the character of Miss Hannigan played by Carol Burnett far more than Annie. So, when Quinn confessed that she too resonated with the kaftan wearing orphanage caretaker, I thought to myself, “I love you already, Geraldine”.

But what made me fall more in love was how Quinn makes fun of herself in every way before anyone else could do it. You wanna make a joke about her being old? She’s already made a better one. As female comedians are so often pushed to the side and never given the appreciation they deserve, seeing Quinn be a high energy, sexual and self-loving woman is a refreshing and thankful thing.

Broad is about Geraldine and her career as a cabaret performer in Australia whose seen it all, set with agents that didn’t think she’d be ‘relatable’ to audiences and trying to pigeonhole her into roles based on this assumption. This is something that Quinn laments and caused so much frustration, she made the decision to do it all on their own. As you learn through the show’s progression, Quinn is full of charm and gusto, making me believe she could be the type of actress that would make even the nastiest of villains likeable.

On the keyboard to support Quinn’s powerful vocals is Cameron Thomas and the two make an adorable duo. Cameron is there more than just to play music. The two share a delightful banter throughout the show and a duet with a dance number.  As a companion to Quinn’s vivacious vibe, Thomas is a shining light that amplifies the show’s star in the way she deserves.

Watching Quinn perform, you know why she’s so loved. But I was left wondering why she isn’t more well known. In the 60 minutes that Quinn gifts us, she covers everything from songs you can wave up a phone light or candle in the air to, to those little ditties you sing at home as you go through your day to day. However, what makes Quinn so remarkable is that in every song and every moment, she gives 100%. She never once faltered and never missed a note.

I’m in love with Geraldine Quinn. She had a voice as big as her heart and her talent at storytelling is something that I don’t think you can teach. The world is constantly telling us how we should look and how we should act, but throughout Broad, Quinn makes a better and enjoyable sounding argument, “Screw it!”. There’s no shame in having a small voice, but just use it and if you have a voice as big as Quinn, you sure as hell should use it!

Geraldine Quinn is performing Broad as part of the 2023 Melbourne International Comedy Festival until April 23rd.
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