In a world where reality television contestants routinely backstab their way into the spotlight,Famous Sharron's Love Match was not entirely what I was expecting. I'm not the biggest fan of reality television, and with this being my first proper introduction to Famous Sharron I was a little wary about what I was in for. I needn't have worried. The show was a surprisingly heartfelt romp into the world of dating gameshows packed with plenty of homegrown Aussie charm, sprinkled with pop culture references, and a healthy dose of slightly chaotic improvised fun.
Famous Sharron has become an instantly recognisable character in the Perth comedy scene in the last few years, her signature red hair and glasses always paired with the kind of wardrobe that would make Kath Day-Night jealous. Love Match was the perfect format to showcase her delightfully bubbly stage presence, encouraging even the quieter attendees to get involved with a dose of gentle persuasion. For a show where the contestants are selected at random from the audience Famous Sharron's likeable persona was an incredibly important asset. Dazzled by the bright lights and her sequinned frock, you couldn't help but be swept along as she alternated between hosting, a bit of cheeky ribbing, and just enough audience participation to keep everyone on their toes.
Her celebrity ball handlers didn't escape unscathed either, with more than a few gentle reminders to former Bachelor contestant Mack Reid (who, bless him, seemed to genuinely forget about his handheld microphone every other minute) and local journalist Michaela Carr that they weren't actually the ones running the show. These two performed their duties admirably, adding another layer of chaos to the running of the show and occasionally adding pithy commentary.
The biggest surprise of the night for me wasn't Sharron's spectacular wardrobe change at the end (although you have to respect a woman who will wear a dress with a giant print of her own face on it) but rather the way she closed out the show. In a world where comedy is often cynical, dealing with dark topics through a comedic lens, to be left on such a positive, affirming note was a welcome change. It's refreshing to hear a woman speaking positively about love and her own love life - particularly when they're onto their third marriage!
Overall, Love Match came across as slightly shambolic due to its improvised nature, a cramped stage space and a few late sound cues. But the simple, flexible format also meant that it flowed along relatively well regardless of what curve balls the participants served up. Additionally, it's the kind of show where technical gaffs merely added to the comedy, particularly when served up with a quip or two. Famous Sharron kept the show moving along at a decent pace, never leaving us to pause too long on the awkward moments, lingering instead during moments of natural schmaltz and comedy.
An undoubtedly fun show, the audience walked out of Love Match chuckling and smiling, many of them eager to get a selfie with its star. Famous Sharron might be famous for nothing at all, but she's certainly won over one pundit regardless!
Game, set and match!