Melinda Buttle – Sista Got Flow
Melinda Buttle @ Ambassadors Hotel – Balcony Restaurant
11:00pm, Sat 27 Feb 2010
There’s something about Melinda Buttle’s précis in the Guide that intrigues; a teacher of juvenile delinquents who loves a good cardigan and claims to have never been kissed at 27? Oh yes, this could be something special.
Unfortunately, there were only about half-a-dozen of us that thought that this evening, her final show in Adelaide this Fringe. So I found myself in an “audience” upstairs at Ambassadors with two women who just wanted to chat (to each other), and three other (older) men who I think may have focussed on the “never been kissed” line a little too obsessively. It was, to be honest, a little creepy.
I couldn’t help but feel bad for Buttle when she took to the stage – I could’ve sworn I saw the disappointment on her face. And if she indeed was saddened by the turnout, then more props to her – because she put on an earnest show, delivering some decent laughs and leaving a great first impression.
Her show was essentially three acts: tales from her day job as a teacher (including some brilliant examples of the politeness of her Samoan students), making fun of her arch-conservative father (his altercation with a homeless chap was an amazing story), and a frank discussion of her own… ummm… lack-of-conquests. Yes, that’s the nicest way to put it. There’s a common thread throughout, as she uses the medium of rhyme and rap to diffuse situations with her students and father, and her investigation into the online dating world – hello to TheWaguOfLadies! – was both touching and funny.
Buttle definitely leaves her best jokes until the end; the closing story that tumbles into rap covers her “never been touched” status, through some wonderfully crass fingering discussions, and a gut-busting discussion of her milkshake. It was a great end to a solid performance, and marks Melinda Buttle as one to keep an eye on; a unique perspective, laced with just enough self-flagellation.