Annie Boyle: “Annie Are You OK?” at Melbourne 2024

***1/2 (out of 5)

Smooth criminal references aside, Annie Boyle does not seem OK.

At least not at the start. Boyle presents her tale of mourning and yearning to us in deadpan narration. The referenced review accompanying her show listing compares it to Fleabag, which feels apt, although Boyle’s approach comes across as quite understated in relation to Phoebe Waller-Bridge. But engaging nonetheless. Boyle takes us from the countryside, remembering a cow named Madonna and comparing herself and the people she encounters to characters from Chicken Run, all the way to a nightclub concert for Aussie singer Delta Goodrem, where Boyle’s spirits are lifted as much by a hottie she meets as by the knowledge that the DJ’s name carries multiple meanings. There’s no doubting the meaning that Goodrem’s song, “Lost Without You,” carries for Boyle as she misses her mum and imagines seeing her once more. If you can put your expectations for guttural laughs aside for an hour and strap in for some introspection instead, then you and Annie will come out the other side OK.

Annie Boyle presents “Annie Are You OK?” through 7 April at the 2024 Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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