Clarissa Chandrahasen – Flawless
Cavern Club, 22 Allen St, Te Aro, Wellington
23/05/2023 - 27/05/2023
NZ International Comedy Festival 2023
Unapologetically confident, Clarissa Chandrahasen’s debut solo hour puts her unique magnifying glass on millennial life. Her sharp, wry and playful takes on social media addiction, home ownership, work life, relationships, queerness and identity are highly relatable.
Flawless sees Clarissa peel back the layers of outer perfection to find….more perfection, to be honest.
“The perfect writer” – Art Murmurs
“Deeply charming” – Edinburgh Fringe audience
Price: $21.50 – $27
Comedian – Clarissa Chandrahasen
[R18] , Comedy , Theatre , Stand-up comedy , Solo ,
A lightness of touch and excellent timing compel our smiles and laughter
Review by John Smythe 25th May 2023
As a show about being a Millennial, Clarissa Chandrahasen’s Flawless could be described as the quiet cousin of Johanna Cosgrove’s Hi, Delusion! While Johanna plays at being loud, proud and challenging about her self-delusion, Clarissa offers gentle self-awareness of her self-involved behaviour patterns – and it works a treat in the Cavern Club’s intimate setting.
By way of exploring her ‘flawless’ theme, Clarissa reveals her relationship with perfection, not least in how it paid off in a job interview. Her references to office work culture throughout her show draw shrieks of laughter from those in the audience who experience it daily.
Confessing to a particular brand of colour blindness introduces her experiences with relationships and break-ups, and an intriguing riff on how she relates to the stages of grief. Quiet quitting, personality tests, what to do when a button comes off a blouse and how lesbian break-ups are different from straight ones lead to the good things about being single and why leadership is not for her.
Clarissa’s lightness of touch and excellent timing compel our smiles and laughter with, rather than at, her highly relatable flaws. And her solitude gives flight to a fertile imagination. Her relationship with her phone inspires some very amusing musing on what the differnt apps might be up to in the background.
Clarissa ventures into risque territory with her Hello Fresh Box jokes and sensual practices with cup cakes. And later, what counts as ‘full sex’? Her coming out as a homeowner leads to comparsions between straight/parents milestones and single/lesbian milestones, and commentary on attending a straight woman’s hen party and the discovery she makes in an all woman’s football team.
Taylor Swift, her barbie dolls, her cat, her unsupportive bra and her Irish/Indian heritage all get touched on, along with what she learned at Clown School, polyamory and a moment of self-aware vulnerability at the Self-Checkout.
Despite claiming she’s not a current affairs comedian, Clarrissa does offer the crowning joke – unaware, I expect, that at least one other comedian in this festival has crafted it too. But to my knowledge she is the first to get ChatGPT to create her closing statement, on the theme of flawlessnes. And you’ll have to see the show to know how that works out.
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