By Laura Hartnell
‘Start at infant mortality and bring them back from there.’ That’s the approach of Bronwyn Kuss’ latest show, Sounds Good. It’s a tightly structured and effortlessly paced hour of wry, dark comedy.
After winning the Directors’ Choice Award and being nominated for Best Newcomer in last year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Kuss has doubled down on her dry-as-a-bone humour in her latest offering. Her opening gambit describes how she was born yellow as a baby and family lore says the doctor called the next day to ask, ‘Is that baby dead yet?’ Exceeding expectations from the get-go, Kuss is a bit pissed that she has newborn baby trauma that she can’t remember nor profit from.
Instead, she tells us about growing up a (closeted) lesbian around the corner from Pauline Hanson’s fish and chip shop, the return of Y2K fashion, and being jealous of her partner’s ex who is going to the moon. She recounts with a genuineness, hilarity, and ease the absurdities of growing up in regional Australia and her self-deprecating reflections on navigating the dating world post-lockdowns make her a magnetic performer.
Kuss’ timing is excellent. The show rolls along effortlessly, and she is just as comfortable letting a punchline hang in the air as she is delivering it with a cold stare and wry smile into the eyes of an audience member. Kuss’ crowd work is light but well-placed, building enough intimacy in the room that her dry style still feels warm and inviting. A confident and compelling storyteller, Kuss’ command of the stage and confidence in her material make Sounds Good a hilarious and intelligent show that solidifies Kuss as one to watch.