Melbourne Fringe: Gorilla, lovely Gorilla

Zoo worker, animal advocate, meat eater – theatremaker Michelle Nussey is all three.

Gorilla, lovely Gorilla - Melbourne Fringe
Gorilla, lovely Gorilla -Melbourne Fringe 2015

Write what you know is good advice. Nussey is passionate about the subject matter at hand, and we get great insights about working at the zoo through her anecdotes. Overall, Gorilla, lovely Gorilla takes a scattershot approach to showcasing the theme of the relationship between animals and humans. There are cute animal videos, a rap battle between a shark and a tuna, Nussey playing herself, the visitors to the zoo and the animals the visitors are gawking at. Her take on the Melbourne Zoo’s gorilla-behind-glass was particularly true-to-life.

Nussey is an engaging performer, but the show might do better to find focus and a way to build dramatically. Write what you know is good advice, but making it into a show is harder than it looks. Don’t just be that oraguntan with a possum or a cat with a human face, be a troop of lovely gorillas.

Keith Gow

Keith Gow is an internationally-produced playwright, best known for Who Are You Supposed to Be (Edinburgh Fringe 2013, Melbourne Fringe 2014, Adelaide Fringe 2015). He is also co-writer of the upcoming supernatural drama series Sonnigsburg which will air on Channel 31. He blogs about his writing, film and theatre at

Keith Gow

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