Bron Lewis Probably!
Directed by Clare Hooper Hell’s Kitchen in the Rhino Room. Adelaide Fringe. March 7 – 12 2023.
Reviewed by Peter Wilkins
You either have to be brave or not very savvy to sit in the front row at a stand up comedy act, and especially if that act is presented by a very smart and sassy Bron Lewis. Teri and Ray didn’t know what they were in for, which is a bit surprising given that they are both teachers and he is even a retired deputy head. And did Lewis, a former teacher of tough kids, make the most of that! But Ray took the veiled insults at being the most disliked person in the school in good humour. It’s impossible to be offended by Lewis and her disarming but happy smile. In the tiny Hell’s Kitchen of the Rhino Room, Lewis has her audience in the palm of her hand or probably on the edge of her tongue.
After a rousing welcome blaring through the amplifier a metre away, Lewis draws on her endless anecdotes about her vulnerability avoiding mother, her posh school education and sporting prowess, her dreaded teaching career and the live bullets brought into the classroom by a potential psychopath bent on throwing out his death threat, her own kids. “Thats comedy?” you ask. That’s Lewis’s gift as a stand up. She can turn a potentially serious situation into an lol moment that had her audience laughing hysterically. Like the time her mother turned up to collect her from netball at her posh school in the old jalopy -or old family car and the door fell off. Not to worry. Mum got out, picked up the door and flung it into the car before driving off with Bron cringing in the front seat. Or the Chiko Roll lady on a Harley Davison with a chiko roll as far from her mouth as you could get and almost up the bum. Lewis has a talent fror the quick quip and the art of the instant image.
From schoolday trauma to Canberra kamikaze magpies, white breasts and Dom Perrotet Lewis is the mistress of mockery, turning the serious to the hilarious and the hilarious to the serious. There’s the time her sister asked her to be in the delivery room when she had her first child and Lewis stood in the wrong spot for a full on view! Not the stuff of comedy? Lewis has the knack to turn the unexpected into the comical. Director Clare Hooper has kept the one hour comedy tight and Lewis never lets the banter flag. By now, Terry and Ray are ready for anything. Like all top class comedians, Lewis can slice through the bullshit and the absurd, the unfair and the plain ridiculous – remember Dom Perrotet and the Chiko Roll Lady or trhe sister screaming while Lewis had a bird’s eye view? Also, like all good comedians she draws on the familiar, her family, herself , the maggies, the scammers and the cyber bullies, and her one year old son who waves at anybody and everybody and then there’s Renee Brown.
And it’s all done with a broad smile and in good humour, springing from a very sharp intellect, ready to make harmless fun of the most vulnerable. Lewis is a comedian on the rise. She graduated from a cupboard at last year’s show YEP. Hell’s kitchen holds about 40 and I predict she’ll be playing larger rooms next year. Probably! If she comes your way and you’re a front row or a back row person grab a seat as soon as you can. You’ll probably have a great time – definitely.