Review: Big Eyes, Big Pussy – Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2022 (VIC)

Presented by Sonia Di Iorio

Review by Martha “MJ” Latham

I was already laughing at Big Eyes, Big Pussy when I read the title, and the show does not disappoint. Taking traditional comedic tropes and using them really well, Sonia Di Iorio gets a lot out of simple set-ups.

Sonia walks us through her life and explores the young Italian experience in dating, family and the modern world. She plays a friendly character, a little ditsy and feeling a bit behind where she should be, but never wallowing in self-pity. Sonia has a good life, a good family and goes on dates with bad men. All around it’s a good foundation for comedic storytelling, and the laughs come relatively easily. The show doesn’t reinvent the wheel and it doesn’t have to. In the hands of someone as adept as Sonia the set hits every target it aims at.

Though Sonia seemed quite nervous on stage, she kept the audience consistently involved and engaged. She regularly interacted with the crowd (including 4 old white women who would continually interject), and always managed to keep the set on its tracks. Some set-ups had predictable outcomes and some jokes had timing that was under-rehearsed, but the audience were enjoying themselves from start to finish.

A highlight gag revolved around Sonia’s dad, Bill, who had been given his “English” name only to discover a more literal translation would have been Blaise. Sonia reminded her dad that Bill is a far less embarrassing name than Blaise, and throughout the rest of the set referred to “Blaise” and his opinions on her comedy and her life. “Thanks Blaise” became a hilarious callback that regularly caught me off guard all the way up until the finale.

If you’re a lover of good jokes, good wine and Italian dads, Big Eyes, Big Pussy is an excellent choice for an early evening viewing at the MICF.

Reviewer rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Big Eyes, Big Pussy played at the Coopers Inn 2 from 30 March – 10 April. You can find Sonia on Instagram @soniadcomedy, and on her podcast Where the Bloody Hell Are We?

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