MICF REVIEW: Alanta Colley – On the Origin of Faeces
Words by Matt Thorley
“It’s going to be about poo from start to finish”
Alanta immediately assures the crowd are under no false pretences: this isn’t a clickbutt- sorry, clickbait title. On the Origin of Faeces is completely committed to the wild and misunderstood world of poo. Alanta takes the stage as our faeces martyr, fighting valiantly for the revaluation of poo’s piss poor reputation. She manages to deliver an outrageously wide array of fecal puns, all the while offering poignant reflections on her own life journey, as well as critiques of the government, royals and anyone else that could be loosely related to shit.
The quirky, winding labyrinth of the Butterfly Club acts as the perfect venue for this strange smelly odyssey. A performance that launches with Alanta detailing the show’s origin story; she explains that she was planning a career in infectious diseases, but couldn’t find any work in Melbourne. So she decided to go into comedy and write a show about Melbourne being too clean, recommending licking a bin after the show to improve your immune system. This was her plan as of January 2020. Understandably the show has changed a little bit since then.
Her experience within the health industry, including a 2 year stint observing latrines in Uganda, gives Alanta an air of authority on stage. Wielding this insider knowledge and a pun infested PowerPoint presentation, she delivers one of the wildest and most genuinely informative TED Talks on record. The PowerPoint of course begins with the ‘Pro Log’, where Alanta gushes over her hero Michelle Hines – the world record poo holder. Later on our journey we cover why and how we poo, the horrific magic of fecal transplants, important poo related historical figures and the origins of the stigma surrounding doing the business. All of which build towards a full circle conclusion and flow into each other as freely as… ya know.
On stage, Alanta performs giddily with a constant shit eating grin of disbelief that she’s actually made this show and getting paid to literally talk shit for an hour. This joy quickly oozes through the crowd as twenty-year-old men, eighty-year-old women and everyone in between, find themselves laughing at poo jokes like kids in a playground. With any and all poo-based judgement gone, it was no surprise that the toilets were all occupied shortly after the show ended.
The Melbourne International Comedy Festival runs from 24 Mar-18 Apr, 2021. You can catch Alanta Colley’s On the Origin of Faeces from now until 4 April