Comedy Review: Ting Lim: Well… This Is Awkward, Storyville Melbourne, MICF 2024

A rising Australian/Singaporean comedian struggles with being unkind.
A woman of Asian appearance in a blue suit over a black scoop neck singlet has a surprised expression on her face.

What’s particularly great about the Melbourne International Comedy Festival is that it’s hosted by myriad venues all over Melbourne’s CBD and beyond. The Town Hall may be its focal point, but the comics radiate all around these headquarters.

Once such venue is Storyville Bar, an enchanting fairytale-inspired cocktail bar (with neon mushrooms and enormous book spines). Setting does make a difference to one’s enjoyment and, frankly, after some fancy pre-show drinks, you’re already prepared to enjoy any live performance.

Ting Lim has been seen in Fisk, for those in the know, but she’s also an up-and-coming Singaporean/Australian comedian and, judging by the confidence with which she wields her material, she has a bright future.

The show pivots on Lim getting into awkward situations due to her inability to be unkind. Hence, she finds herself accepting a plus-one invitation to a funeral from her soon-to-be ex-boyfriend. Then there’s her mortifying mooning episode with a medico and several hangers-on, and her version of bathroom performance art in the outback.

Cultural differences are also canvassed with Lim relaying various contretemps between herself and her mother … demon cleansing ceremony (eh?).

Lim is an affable performer, and while some bits aren’t as funny as others, her storytelling is assured.

Read: Comedy review: Alex Hines: Putting on a Show, Malthouse Theatre, MICF 2024 

Tickets: $24-$30

Ting Lim: Well… This Is Awkward will be performing at Storyville Melbourne until 21 April 2024 as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF 2024).

Thuy On is the Reviews and Literary Editor of ArtsHub and an arts journalist, critic and poet who’s written for a range of publications including The Guardian, The Saturday Paper, Sydney Review of Books, The Australian, The Age/SMH and Australian Book Review. She was the books editor of The Big issue for 8 years. Her debut, a collection of poetry called Turbulence, came out in 2020 and was released by University of Western Australia Publishing (UWAP). Her second collection, Decadence, was published in July 2022, also by UWAP. Her third book, Essence, will be published in 2025. Twitter: @thuy_on Instagram: poemsbythuy