Lisa Chappell's self-penned, one-woman show is a macabre comedy that takes us a million miles away from the wholesome, girl-next-door persona of McLeod's Daughter.

The story opens with some hilarious reflections on the risks and rewards of live theatre delivered by a neurotic relief teacher who suffers from chronically low levels of self-esteem.

In the intimate setting of The Basement, Chappell builds a strong personal connection with the audience and demonstrates a remarkable ability to breathe life into her bizarre creations.

The main character is a deeply traumatised soul locked in a world of schizophrenic fantasy where obsessive indulgence in the sensual enjoyment of ice-cream is jarringly juxtaposed with the psychotic violence of sadistic cannibalism.


The dark subject matter is treated in a relentlessly light-hearted manner. The script utilises the technique popularised by Quentin Tarantino in which acts of horrific violence are presented in a casual, everyday tone.

The macabre humour will not be to everyone's taste but Chappell's writing reveals a clearly defined voice and an instinctive understanding of story structure.

By teasing out the grisly details and introducing an increasingly weird menagerie of characters, the show maintains suspense and brings credibility to a seriously improbable storyline.

The performance is carried off with panache as Chappell establishes a captivating stage presence and displays a wonderful facility for entering into the voice of her characters. On a bare stage without any costume changes or props, she conjures up an entire world that includes an appearance by a surprisingly endearing purple blob with luminous green eyes.

Perfectly timed delivery of some sharp one-liners keeps the laughter flowing and though the ending is rather abrupt the show throws up some provocative thoughts on the therapeutic value of wildly imaginative story telling.

What: Fred
Where: The Basement, to April 24