Eighteen - MICF 2023 (VIC)
Written and Created by Caitlyn Staples & Tiana Hogben
Reviewed by Justin Clarke
Theory Bar, Melbourne
Until 23rd April, 2023
- Quirky, absurd and hilarious. Bring your best friend and get ready to feel the feels -
Who remembers their best friend from high school? Okay, so who is actually still in touch with that best friend from high school? Okay, who is actually still best friends with that person from high school and is performing with them at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival this year? Caitlyn Staples’ and Tiana Hogben’s hands would be able to shoot straight up as the pair present a hilarious and heartfelt hour of comedy in their debut show as a team, Eighteen.
As it says on the box, Caitlyn and Tiana have been friends for eighteen years. As the pair say, their friendship is old enough to drink, drive, vote and go down on you (if you’re over 16). Having first met in high school, the pair didn’t find the same footing straight away, but before long an eighteen-year long friendship bloomed, despite their differences. Staples referencing Hogben's long neck being a recurring difference suggests an ingrained jealousy that consistently draws laughs.
Utilising comedic sketches, personal anecdotes and musical numbers throughout, the pair take the audience back through the highlights of their friendship in high school as bright eyed drama students, the coming of age journey to buy a first bra, and the consistent voice messages the pair leave each other.
It’s clear throughout that the pair have their own styles of comedy, with both Hogben and Staples being able to hold the audience over whilst the other is offstage. But together, they create a highly likeable pairing that draws the audience into their wacky stories and quickly unravelling sketches. The most likeable moments came when mishaps occurred and the other had to hold back from breaking.
The wobbly beginning of the production with some overbearing mic levels made for a slightly uneasy start that led us to wonder what exactly we were in for over the next hour. Any qualms were quickly squashed as the pair began to establish their personas onstage and lean into their offbeat and quirky characteristics. Elderly workers at Bras N Things attempt to sell us the “N Things” elements of the shop, audience members are made to participate in their drama teacher’s absurd performance for teenagers, and Staples reveals to us that her netherregions resemble that of a turkey neck as we see her father make a deal with a turkey God. Yes, that’s how outlandish some of the sketches become, and it’s hilarious.
If the both Staples and Hogben prove anything, it’s that whilst they’re capable performers solo, they’re a powerhouse duo together. Bring your best friend along for the ride and revel in the events that can unfold throughout eighteen years of a friendship. Be prepared to let out an almighty “Awww” at the end of the show.
This show is eligible for the Laugh Pack – buy full price tickets to 3+ eligible different performances in one transaction for a 10% discount. Excludes previews, Tightarse Tuesday and Saturday performances.
Adult: All Tix $26.00 Concession: All Tix $22.00 Group (5+): All Tix $22.00
Wed 12 Apr - Sat 15 Apr: 7pm;
Sun 16 Apr: 6pm;
Wed 19 Apr - Sat 22 Apr: 7pm;
Sun 23 Apr: 6pm
Theory Bar (Previously known as Loop Project Space), 19-23 Meyers Pl, Melbourne