Alice Fraser: Ethos (4 stars)

Alice Fraser: Ethos

A wonderful thing can happen when stories and jokes combine to powerful effect

For a while now, Australian Alice Fraser has been producing intelligent and pleasing work which, nonetheless, has been difficult to take fully into your heart. But with Ethos, she has managed to merge all her abilities into a thoroughly satisfying whole and elevated her work to a new level.

Of course, having a unique prop, technique or device can always help to give a show an extra slice of gravitas, but as long as it contributes to the creative process and not just act as a replacement for gags or intrigue, then it's all well and good. So, here she has gone for a comedic slab of AI called Ethos ('I'm not a robot'), who sits in as Fraser's conscience, collaborator and chief critic, continually asking the question about what exactly it is that she does: is she really a comedian or a storyteller who chucks a bit of comedy in there from time to time?

Her father is another one who has remained unconvinced that Fraser has gone down the correct career path especially given a legal career seemed set. 'We are the stories we tell ourselves,' opines Fraser. This year, her stories and jokes are finally talking to each other.

Underbelly Bristo Square, until 27 Aug, 7.55pm, £10–£11 (£9–£10).

Alice Fraser: Ethos

  • 4 stars

Human/artificial intelligence double-act with award-winning writer, broadcaster and comedian Alice Fraser.

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