After discovering Alice Tovey’s Malice at last year’s Melbourne Fringe festival, I was really excited to see what she would come up with next.
Malice was Alice belting out tunes with Ned Dixon accompanying on piano – telling stories of her Catholic upbringing and her feminism and the tension between the two. In Personal Messiah, Alice is a rocking lead singer, backed by a four-piece band, The Apostles. Is she the new messiah? Is Alice what the world has been waiting for?
The political is personal in this fast-paced show. Less focus on Alice’s life (though we do get a song about her breasts) means more time to tackle the big issues: the GST on tampons, the fact that Peter Dutton is awful (in a blisteringly harsh song called “Australia’s Fair”), and how little the universe thinks about you.
Apparently reviews compare some of her work to Tim Minchin, but it never occurred to me until she mentioned it before her nine-minute tone poem. And even thinking about her deconstruction of Beyonce as “the peak of feminism” makes me think she’s comparable. Alice is a lead singer of a band that wants you to worship them; a band that only played two nights, just to whet Melbourne’s appetite.
Though this show darts from one issue to another – and while she jokes about filling the hour, she’s off stage after forty-five minutes – this is a show that deserves to grow and have another life. Pray that Alice Tovey and her Apostles resurrect this personal messiah at festival near you. Incredible.