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Rachel Tunaley: Motion Sickness - Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2024 (VIC)

Written and performed by Rachel Tunaley

Reviewed by Justin Clarke

The Butterfly Club - Upstairs - 5 Carson Pl, Melbourne

Until 14th April, 2024

A hot girl summer gone wrong, this young performer presents an Yve Blake inspired melody of pop girl ballads and rap that will give you the dos and donts for your own Eurotrip

It’s a rite of passage for young Australians to venture outside of this gloriously large country of ours and experience culture on the other side of the world. Most leave to “find themselves”, whilst some are eager to explore new cultures, new food, new ways of living. Some choose to stay in the new cultures and lands they find, others will always return home renewed and invigorated. For Rachel Tunaley the idea of “finding yourself” is at the core of her new musical comedy Motion Sickness.

In Motion Sickness Tunaley leans into her musical theatre background to present all new original musical comedy songs ranging from pop, rap and full on belts. We see a Eurotrip gone wrong for Tunaley who just wanted to get the f@ck out Wattle Green which, as she so eloquently lists off at lightning speed, is a long way on the train line out of Melbourne and into the Victorian countryside. 

The true reason to see Rachel Tunaley in action is her musical stylings which play out as well written and at times as inspired as Tim Minchin lyricism.

This Yve Blake inspired melody of songs takes us on a journey from country Australia, exploring Tunaley’s recent sleep apnea diagnosis, through to her venturing around Europe. Here she encounters unfortunate heat rashes in Monaco, privileged white guys in hostels and less than accurate fortune tellers in the Village of New York City. All of which ultimately leads her back to Wattle Green, with the hindsight that finding yourself is less about seeing the world and instead about nurturing the connections of those around you.

Tunaley brings bucket loads of confidence and style as she manoeuvres around the intimate Butterfly Club venue. She is larger than life throughout her singing and vocals as though she’s playing to a large audience in Town Hall instead of the off the track Butterfly Club venue. 

The throughline of where the story was heading doesn’t come full circle as strongly as it could, with the overarching setup needing more of a payoff at the end over the eclectic mix of stories that lead Tunaley to Europe. There are elements of her previous show 12 Lies I Told Before 21 which was a more focused setup of her life, whereas elements in Motion Sickness feel a bit more haphazardly organised. 

The true reason to see Rachel Tunaley in action however is her musical stylings which play out as well written and at times as inspired as Tim Minchin lyricism. For the weary traveller who has also encountered one or two mishaps on their “idyllic” Euro-hot-girl-summer, there’s much laughter and fun to be had revelling in Tunaley's story as she’s not afraid to show her least glamorous sides. 

With only one show left at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Tunaley is one to see as her trajectory at the festival continues to soar upwards, with her bangs freely flowing in the wind.

Rachel Tunaley: Motion Sickness



All Tix $39.00


All Tix $35.00

Group (6+):

All Tix $31.00


All Tix $30.00

Tightarse Tuesday:


Broke Butterfly:

All Tix $15.00

Early Bird:

All Tix $29.00

Mon 8 Apr - Sun 14 Apr: 5.30pm

The Butterfly Club - Upstairs, 5 Carson Pl, Melbourne

This show contains: Audience participation, Occasional coarse language


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