Grace Zhang: Cult Sh!t {Melbourne International Comedy Festival} – Comedy Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

In her Melbourne International Comedy Festival solo debut, Grace Zhang has knocked it out of the park with her show – Cult Sh!t, directed by fellow comedian Claire Hooper.

Upon entering to take a seat at the intimate Storyville Melbourne performance area, Grace was already on stage seated on a wooden tree stump looking chair and wearing cream colours. With her legs crossed and her eyes closed, Grace appeared to be meditating. During the first few moments of Grace’s show, what we hear are her intrusive thoughts and this gives us a glimpse into what Grace Zhang has in store for us.

Okay, firstly to have the discipline to not pop your eyes open and want to join conversations with patrons in the front row must be really difficult. Yet Grace is focused and engaging the whole time once she opens her eyes. Quickly jumping off the tree stump looking stool and after having a wardrobe change right in front of us, the now appropriately dressed Grace Zhang in black attire was ready to slay. What Cult Sh!t entails are interesting tales from an eccentric, feisty, unfiltered and refreshing new queen on the comedy scene.

Cult Sh!t isn’t really about being in a cult, although Zhang does make a note that it would be nice to belong to a community where you could do fun and freely provided activities together and that we, the audience, were in a cult for coming to see her. We were in her cult!

Instead, what Cult Sh!t focuses on is beating the prim and proper academically inclined Asian stereotype, fighting the system (mainly, not conforming to the typical slave office job life *quiet sob since I’m still there*) and following your aspirations because your parents and the generations that came before you have already done all the hard work – so you don’t have to.

From strange food combination creations to the Michael Jordan documentary on Netflix which I’ve admittedly still yet to watch, Zhang could talk about any topic under the sun and her audience would be mesmerised. My favourite part of her show was when Grace claimed that everyone could be a DJ in their own profession. As absurd as this may sound, she’s actually onto something here! It was also great witnessing Zhang engage with her audience. She’s a natural.

It’s hard to believe that this show is only Grace Zhang’s solo debut as she is so confident, commanding and captivating on the stage. It also didn’t matter if you could relate to her various stories or not as they were all interesting and you were thoroughly entertained by Grace Zhang regardless. Why? Because as much Zhang is very a rebel in her own right against societal expectations, she is still super adorable and extremely likable. Zhang is also, very, very funny and she knows it.

You may not have been in a cult or want to be in a cult, but you will want to be in the vicinity of Grace Zhang and be a part of Cult Sh!t. This impressive Melbourne International Comedy Festival solo debut has me excited for her future endeavours and the juicy stories that will follow suit.

Grace Zhang is currently performing Cult Sh!t until April 21st at Storyville Melbourne as part of the 2024 Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
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