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The Butterfly Club presents

Alanta Colley Trick or Treatment

The Butterfly Club presents

Alanta Colley Trick or Treatment

Big pharma gets a bad rap, but what about big chakra? Could horse de-wormers cure a global pandemic? Can I mainline the placebo effect?  Come on a science comedy journey through the wild and weird and occasionally effective world of alternative medicine with Alanta as your test subject.

In 2010 Alanta stood in a clinic in remote Uganda, watching a woman with malaria receive electric acupuncture and silver particles in water. When Alanta raised objections that this therapy didn’t treat malaria she was threatened with defamation. While the threat was as bogus as the treatment, it sparked in Alanta a deep curiosity about what makes alternative medicines so alluring, which ones work, which ones don’t and the mysterious power of the placebo effect. 

While we grapple with the daily perils of a life confined within these fragile mortal vessels, it seems entirely sensible to search for any balm that might alleviate our aches, and make us healthier, happier and better at parallel parking. But who do we turn to?

As big pharma gets a bad rap more folk turn to big chakra. But how do we navigate the litany of therapies offering access to ancient wisdom, invisible energy flows, the healing powers of exotic plants, animals and gurus? What is harmless, what is harmful and what does the evidence say? Can science measure the healing powers of alternative medicine? Or is time spent googling clinical trials better spent pursuing influencers on instagram? 

Which practitioners genuinely hold the promise for treating some of our most elusive ailments, and which ones are simply profiteering on the infirm and the desperate? 

Come on a science comedy journey through the wild and weird and occasionally effective world of alternative medicine with Alanta as your test subject, putting her money where her mouth is and trialling some of the more out there alternative treatments so you don’t have to. This show is not covered by Medicare. 

Alanta is a public health practitioner, comedian and storyteller based in Melbourne. She runs Sci Fight Science Comedy Debate year round at Howler Melbourne, where scientists and comedians come together to debate serious issues in a ridiculous manner. She’s a regular guest on ABC Radio with David Astle, has appeared on ABC TV News and in Frankie Magazine. She also moderates for the Transitions Film Festival. 

Alanta’s debut solo show Parasites Lost sold out its entire run at Melbourne International Comedy Festival and was given an Inspiring Australia Science-Arts Grant to perform in Perth FRINGE WORLD. Alanta’s second solo show Days of our Hives about bee keeping and bee losing attracted more bee keepers than any other show at Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Her third solo show, On the Origin of Faeces had a lot of reviewers politely decline her invitation to attend. 

Alanta’s nerdy concoction of evidence-based comedy and personal confessions has been warmly received by audiences across Australia and internationally. Alanta is also a good source of protein and has been used in traditional medicine in the treatment of syphilis, guinea worm and can be used as a viable alternative to firewood.

"Horrified but laughing." Gates Foundation employee

'A delightful presence on stage and enchanting storyteller.' Squirrel Comedy

'Alanta is an experienced and gifted orator.' Weekend Notes

'The Queen of weaving a winning story with scientific facts.' My Melbourne Arts


Suitable for audiences 15+

This show contains: Occasional coarse language.


Before and after the show

  • Eat, drink, laugh, repeat

    Check out our partner bars and restaurants across the CBD - many offering exclusive deals for ticketholders!

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  • The Festival Club

    Your very own late-night treat for laughs, dancing and all-round good times.

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