Fringe Review: ASMR Live by Issy Phillips

Emerging comedian Issy Phillips offers a cutting satirical commentary on modern Australian culture.

Although her show is titled ASMR Live, audiences should expect less microphone-assisted autonomous sensory meridian responses and more sketches exploring the hilarious, hypocritical and often troublesome nature of Australia’s political and cultural psyche.

Hailing from rural New South Wales, Phillips uses her experiences of misogyny, “bloke” culture and the NRL to paint a scathing picture of Australian society through a variety of different set pieces including an amusingly re-dubbed A Current Affair segment and a macho rugby match inspired by calls for the sport to “Bring Back the Biff”, set to the NRL remake of the Hoodoo Gurus’ What’s My Scene. As she invokes these familiar parts of our nation’s shared culture, Phillips uses her sharp wit and observation to convey both their historical importance to our identity as well as the problems they pose to a “new and keep-cup improved” contemporary Australia.

Phillips also critiques the purported “woke” status of the Australian media. Using the often-overlooked misogyny and cultural insensitivity in comedian Chris Lilley’s work, Phillips offers a strong example of the country’s blind cognitive dissonance to the offensive material we repeatedly consume on television. Again exploring a familiar, yet problematic persona heavily ingrained into our history, Phillips encourages introspection from audience members, allowing them to understand why morality, even in comedy, is important.

Bringing her war on waste, wokeness and the world at large to Adelaide after  2019 Adelaide Fringe, Phillips’s ASMR Live is a night of comedy which can make audiences laugh, question and critique the current state of modern Australia.

Issy Phillips’ ASMR Live was performed at the National Wine Centre on Friday, February 15

ASMR Live
February 15-6, 22
National Wine Centre
adelaidefringe.com.au

Header image:
Harriet Jane

Adelaide In-depth

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