By Xavier McGettigan
Who knew Microsoft Paint drawings, Powerpoint Presentations and Betrayal could be so entertaining?
In an introductory audience survey, a resounding chorus of cheers responded to Jenny Tian’s “who knows me from my Instagram and TikTok videos?” But a singular woo answered her follow-up question: “who knows me from my stand up work?” Which is a shame, because as the audience was soon to discover, Tian’s skill, relatability and humour combine brilliantly in “Picture This”.
Tian’s ability to embrace hilarious physicality within a natural and laid-back style endeared the sold-out crowd at the Trades Hall Meeting Room to her stories of betrayal, culture and garlic bread. Her additional ability to turn on a dime from deadpan to exaggeratedly expressive either camouflages any darkness in her punchlines or ramp up the subversion of expectations that her work heavily features.
One of the standout features of Jenny’s show is her use of Microsoft Paint. Yes, you read that right – she uses Microsoft Paint to illustrate her stories, and it’s absolutely genius. The drawings may seem simple, but the attention to detail of the classic public transport psychedelic seat fabric or the bright lights/00’s screensaver squiggles of her rendition of Vivid Sydney are far from simple.
Jenny’s comedic timing is impeccable, and her delivery is spot-on. She knows exactly how to keep the audience engaged and entertained, and it’s clear that she has a real passion for making people laugh. Ultimately, “Picture This” is a collection of tales that are surprisingly heartwarming and then not at all heartwarming, but above all relatable: including MSN bullying, failed romance and somehow most of all a *brilliant* spoken word jazz ballad about one of the world’s greatest things.
“Picture This” is an excellent opportunity to witness the rising star that is Jenny Tian, get to her final weeks of shows justifiably bumped up to a 100-seat room at the MICF this April.