This is a review from the 2018 season. This show is returning in 2019.
Comma Sutra is a clever celebration for all word nerds. Louisa Fitzhardinge presents an hour of grammatically correct quips and crafty lyrics on stage.
A self-confessed grammarian, she combines her love of words with her musical theatre skills to present a fast-paced laugh-filled cabaret.
Supported by pianist, Greg Lavell, Fitzhardinge has crafted a set of songs from show tunes to rap, outlining the fun and absurdities of language. And not just English but French, German and Auslan as well.
Renaming her accompanist Grerg – so that his name could be a palindrome of course – Fitzhardinge also brings the banter, outlining how her love of language far outweighs the consideration of people’s feelings when she corrects their grammar.
The show opens with a classic Cole Porter show tune, Anything Goes, revamped to showcase the loss of good grammar and spelling in the modern world. Bemoaning text talk and misuse of common words like ‘literally’, the chuckles have begun.
Fitzhardinge’s unique song Grammar Makes Me Hot is possibly the first time grammar terms like subordinate clause and preposition have been used in such a suggestive and hilarious manner.
A musical highlight of the set is a rap about the crazy word combinations in the German language.
Crowd favourites are a ditty about Dad Jokes and the special place they hold in a language buff’s heart and a converted Gotye song, complete with toy glockenspiel, about the loss of language, Now You’re Just a Language I Used to Know.
Fitzhardinge involves the audience through quiz questions, grammar checks and the age-old tussle of the Oxford Comma.
Her twin passions for words and stage are perfectly combined to entertain and delight. Switching effortlessly between four languages, her considerable skills are impressive and entertaining.
The perfect night out for linguists, grammarians and musical theatre lovers alike. You’ll have no ‘treble’ enjoying the ‘sharp’ musical puns and wordplay, Fitzhardinge’s ‘forte’.
Comma Sutra is playing at Downstairs at the Maj for the rest of the week.