Comedy reviews: Risky Spizzness, Nat’s What I Reckon, MICF

Two comedians who may appear to have little in common, but are both brave enough to share their deepest insecurities onstage.

Risky Spizzness

★★★ ½

Humour is so deeply subjective, but one thing it’s easy to agree on is the level of work someone has put into their show. And on that score Risky Spizzness gets lots of points. Cristina Spizzica delivers a well-thought out and well-rehearsed show that uses her entire life history to date – well, the data that she has accrued in that time – to paint a picture and introduce us to the inner workings of her rather fascinating mind. 

In a show that shares reams of MSN chat logs from her teen years, primary school-aged LEGO models and diary entries made by a mere stripling, Spizzica weaves an endearing and detailed portrait of a young woman finding her way and trying not to let the bullies get her down – even if it does turn out that in hindsight their advice about hairstyles and clothing appears to have been valid. 

This is Spizzica’s debut solo show and it has all the hallmarks of someone with a bright comic future. There’s plenty to enjoy here and the projections and sound effects are beautifully integrated too. She has an unerring instinct for the punchline, her timing is sure and her onstage persona is effortlessly likeable. The rougher edges – such as a frenetic intro in which lines are drowned out by the soundtrack and a delivery that could perhaps benefit from a little vocal training and polish – will no doubt come with time and practice. The basics are all there.

Risky Spizzness will be performing at The Motley Bauhaus Black Box, 118 Elgin Street, Carlton until 9 April 2023. Tickets: $21-$25

Cristina Spizzica in ‘Risky Spizzness’. Photo: Supplied.

Nat’s What I Reckon – Yeah, Righto

★★★ ½

If, like this reviewer, your introduction to the sweariest rock ‘n’ roll comedian around was via the cooking videos that went gangbusters during the time when we were all stuck at home, experimenting with sourdough and living in pajamas, Yeah Righto was a solid introduction to the rest of the parts that make up this complex and somewhat contrary character.

And I mean contrary in a good way because one of the greatest things about Nat is the wonderful way he subverts his image with a willingness to be utterly vulnerable and real.

Here’s a man unafraid to admit he’s scared of spiders, struggles with anxiety and suffered with haemorrhoids – even while challenging us to spell it correctly.

And his segment about his romantic relationship was a wonderful example of non-toxic masculinity. If you know any young men and boys persuaded by the rhetoric of an Andrew Tate or his ilk, do us all a favour and try and steer them in Nat’s direction instead. 

Read: Comedy reviews: Best of Comedy Zone Asia, David O’Doherty, MICF

He also reminds us that you can be funny and, yes, charming while remaining resolutely potty mouthed and without insulting your audience – the individuals in the audience were all ‘champs’ to Nat even, no matter how much he may rail at idiots and institutions in the outside world. 

Yes, the delivery and approach may have seemed laissez faire, even shambolic, but there was a rawness and an honesty that was undeniably appealing. His delivery was quintessential Nat, his observations astute and his tats impressive. Underestimate him at your peril.

Nat’s What I Reckon, Yeah, Righto was at the Forum Melbourne, Downstairs from 31 March to 2 April.

Madeleine Swain is ArtsHub’s managing editor. Originally from England where she trained as an actor, she has over 25 years’ experience as a writer, editor and film reviewer in print, television, radio and online. She is also currently Vice Chair of JOY Media.