Loosely tied to a sprawling story line about venturing into the world of professional boxing, 24-year-old up-and-comer Tegan Higginbotham gives a literal twist to “punch lines” in Million Dollar Tegan, a comedy show companion piece to Clint Eastwood’s 2004 boxing drama – and thankfully a great deal more amusing.

Whether Higginbotham jumped in the ring purely for comedic material or a bash-heavy self-improvement session is uncertain, but great comedy – particularly comedy with an emphasis on storytelling – is undoubtedly boosted by life experience, and she has some sweat infused tales to tell. Some carefully placed video footage – perhaps in a bigger room than the closet upstairs at the Spleen Bar – could have worked wonders.

Jokes about shared house living, feuds with girls and a dyslectic dad and worried mum fit broadly under the boxing banner, with regular structural call backs keeping the show moving forward with a sense of purpose. Higginbotham is a performer happy in and hungry for the spotlight. While the material in Million Dollar Tegan is bereft of belly-ups, its silky smooth ebb and flow more than compensates.

Tegan Higganbotham in Million Dollar Tegan is on from March 28 – April 21 at the Spleen Bar. 

Luke Buckmaster also reviews films on Crikey film blog Cinetology.

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