It’s hard to be young, white and beautiful – or at least that’s what April Fools says. In Mediawhore, the audience is taken through the rabbit (or Playboy Bunny) hole into a world of surgery, reality TV and Twitter. Just like reality TV, Mediawhore is a bit of a bumpy ride and there’s not a lot in the way of production value, but if you stop taking things so seriously, it’s a fun way to spend an hour.
Mediawhore is the story of April Fools (Isabella Valette) – a young, fame-hungry media star. Fools knows how to manipulate the media; she tweets, she makes her way onto reality TV, she shamelessly appropriates other cultures, and she chases scandal and surgery like a Kardashian. In this show, Fools details the betrayals, broken hearts and butt-lifts that got her to where she is today, introduces us to a host of silly characters, and sings about the harsh realities of being pretty and privileged.
Some of Valette’s material, like the witty and wonderful Am I Not Ethnic Enough?, was right on the mark – it highlighted her clear, pitch-perfect voice and was genuinely funny to watch. Other songs weren’t as successful, sometimes because their source material wasn’t as well-known as Kasey Chambers’ Am I Not Pretty Enough? and sometimes because Valette’s attempt at a serious twist in the life of her silly character felt a little contrived. The light parts of the show were fun, but the serious parts were uncomfortable.
Valette, like her character April, was pretty unlucky on the night of review. From horribly temperamental microphones to false eyelashes and jackets that tried to jump ship, nothing seemed to quite go her way. These mishaps seemed to throw Valette a little, but she eventually recovered with humour and confidence (or at least what seemed like confidence).
Valette was also a little unlucky in terms of her audience. The small, shy and retiring crowd were not always able to muster up much in the way of laughs, which sometimes made the young Valette visibly uncomfortable. This certainly wasn’t the case for the entire show – some parts had audience member cackling with the best of ‘em – but having a joke fall flat is awkward for all involved.
For those who fear audience participation more than life itself (and I know there are quite a few), this is not the show for you. Audience members were measured, pulled up, chatted to, and snuggled with all night and, particularly with an audience so small and meek, it felt a little like Russian Roulette waiting to see who Valette was going to zero in on next.
If you’re brave enough to risk having to motorboat a beautiful blonde or have your bust size measured for all to see, this show is good fun. Once Mediawhore irons out the kinks (and invests in some stronger eyelash glue), it’ll be a must-see.