By Nick Pilgrim
Writing for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival can be a double-edged sword.
On the one hand, one is spoiled for choice. With more than 500 acts converging on the city over a hectic three-week period, there is at least something guaranteed for everyone. On the other hand, it would be impossible to catch and review everything.
But, if you’re a fan of comedy from a female perspective with distinctly grown-up appeal, Getting Out In Front Of It is the ideal show for you.
Nikki Britton is one of a kind.
It takes rare talent to write and perform one’s own material well. Tight scripting and diligent rehearsal, allows Britton to be frenetic yet playful, spontaneous, loose, and always in the moment. That she can also banter with her audience and mine unexpected laughs, is a true gift.
Britton knows the power of setting the mood and pacing a good story. Where she separates herself from the pack, is a genius ability to set up a side joke or three and derail herself in the process. A knack for spinning personal humiliation into comic gold, illustrates total understanding of her award-nominated brand and key demographics combined.
Like the legendary Julian Clary, the star’s modus operandi was how at any given moment, his shows could collapse in an ungainly heap. Of course, they didn’t, but to create the illusion he was walking a very thin tightrope, always kept audiences on the edges of their seats and completely invested.
Dedicating her side-splitting, fifty-minute set to various episodes pre- and post-lockdown, some of the many overlapping topics Britton covered were:
- why coffee houses charge too much for a slice of cake
- the true meaning of ‘rom coms’
- the major difference between dating tradies in their twenties and forties
- risking her life at a friend’s wedding reception
- men who embellish their dating profiles and spotting the red flags
- applying to adopt a rescue dog and being rejected
- hanging out with your drunk girlfriends
- hosting an illegal gathering during lockdown
- sneaking into an adult toy store
- seeing a psychic
- being played by a new age life coach
- why dating apps fail
The list goes on.
A talented voiceover artist by day, I can only begin to imagine what it must be like to live inside Britton’s colourful imagination. Wearing embarrassment like a glorious medal of honour, Getting Out In Front Of It wickedly earns its eighteen-plus rating without being crass or filthy simply for the shock value.
In the spirit of Miranda Hart, Gilda Radner or Amy Schumer, Britton celebrates our inner dag head on. On the night I attended, at times her audience became sick with laughter and ate up every madcap word.
Playing until this Sunday at Comedy Republic, viewers will be guaranteed an unforgettable night out.