Thursday, 1 October 2015

Alice Tovey: Malice, with Ned Dixon

One of the beautiful coincidences of being in Melbourne around this time of the year is definitely the Melbourne Fringe Festival. You will find flags across some of Melbourne's main streets announcing this event where talented men and women gather, and my hostel happened to have heaps of its flyers to seduce curious cultural barbarians like me with.

It definitely worked, because on a Sunday evening I found myself with these tickets in my hand even though I had never gone to a cabaret before:

A cabaret by Alice Tovey, with Ned Dixon
I do not regret, and even now I wish I could go again, because Alice's voice will sweep you away. She is in charge of it however she wants to, leading it from powerful elongated melodies to short and sexy, melodic pleas that remind you of vintage American stars gazing at you with half-closed eyelids and red lips.

All of this is emphasized by Alice's faithful companion whom she likes to make fun of: Ned Dixon. They seem like good pals while stabbing fun at each other, and the way they fit on stage is probably a result of this as Ned imposes magic on his keyboard. Don't believe me? Take a look at this Youtube video by Alice Tovey and Ned Dixon, featuring the song 'Blue Suit':

This song was played during Malice as well. Even though I did not truly understand it, since I'm not Australian, it did not take away from my joy as I just focused on the music. If you're just a tourist that happens to pass by and are starting to get nervous about not being Australian too, do not fret, because the remaining songs will certainly get you hooked. If not, Alice's hilarious commentary will.

Even though the subjects of the show went into many directions, it all tied back to Alice as a person. Throughout the show you will feel like you're getting to know her as she takes you through her breakups, insecurities and opinions about religion, feminism or other matters. It was definitely not just her voice that kept me interested, it was the way she dared to expose herself along with vulnerability, wit, cheekiness and sarcasm.

One of the more memorable subjects, for example, was the way she felt about her body. Some will call her a bit curvy. Or 'cuuuuuuuuurvyyyyyyy' as she exclaimed with a nasal tone that imitates many more annoying 'friends' who judge you on your appearance. This doesn't take her down, however, and I love how she's grown to love her body. I love how she pointed out society's acceptance of insecurity above narcissism, and convinced me that it was okay to love ourselves.

Her confidence sparks through every speech and song she shares, sitting on the front row I could notice her stark concentration, the determined movements of her body and her passionate eyes which seem to be entirely doused in the character she's displaying. In between songs, she will sometimes spice it up with accurate and funny impersonations. Needless to say, she's some talented woman which makes me wonder, yet again, why mainstream media doesn't promote more people like her.

If she happens to travel through Sydney before I leave, I would definitely go and see her again, even it's the same show. Of course I can't be too greedy because I was already lucky enough to see her again the same evening, at a karaoke event at the Fringe Hub. She was singing Grease's 'Summer Nights', yet another proof of her voice's capacity.

So if you're looking for something to do in Melbourne tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, make sure to buy tickets to 'Alice Tovey: Malice' as these will be the last days of the Melbourne Fringe Festival. I swear that you will not be able to shake her off her mind, because the words 'my vagina' have been echoing through my head ever since going to that show.

The latter must have confused you, so let me just give you a quick explanation without spoiling too much. To be blunt, Alice just told us (or sang-told us) not to forget to tell people about her vagina. It's a much more efficient thank-you-and-remember-to-tell-people-to-see-me speech, don't you agree? Just sit back, see how the spotlight turns humorously attentive, listen to Ned Dixon's magical back-up and enjoy how Alice sings the words 'my vagina'. I have never found that word so beautiful before.

Be quick and order your tickets here.

Find Alice at, or stalk her on any popular social media platform.

Please do not forget about the talented Ned Dixon as well. When I asked him how long he's been playing the piano, he answered: "I cannot remember not playing the piano". You ought to give some credit to such passion, so find him on his soundcloud or facebook.

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