By Nick Pilgrim
The second-largest event of its kind in the world after Edinburgh, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival has something for everyone. Local and international stars work side by side, promising big laughs for our hard-earned bucks.
Running for three jam-packed weeks at the start of Autumn, the range of options features art exhibitions, cabaret, competitions, conversations, debates, improvisation, musicals, sketch shows, song cycles, and theatre sports. Just to name a few.
Perhaps the most traditional of all the offerings, Stand-Up is variant punters likely know best. It is also the most fascinating and challenging medium to master well. That symbiotic bond shared between the performer and their paying fans, is the key difference between any gig’s success or failure.
Tania Lacy is Australia’s own Little Miss Firecracker. This pocket rocket of observational humour is whip-smart and switched on. Drawing on a vast professional resume (trained dancer, tv host, script writer) and personal family history for inspiration, Lacy will have you in the palm of her hands from the get-go.
Using both avenues with equal aplomb, she works her subject matter with consummate ease. If there is one word I could use to describe Lacy’s madcap journey, it would be ‘relatable’. Very much a product of Generation X, at times her sense of humour can be as raunchy as it is poignant.
In no special order, some of the quirky topics she covers includes:
- Australian Wildlife
- Brazilian Waxing
- Buying someone eighty a birthday card
- Clown Porn
- Comparing Australian and German tourists
- Coping with her teenage son during lockdown
- Favourite children
- Foreign impressions of Australia
- German Police Officers
- Hypothetical dating
- Moving to Berlin with her partner
- The perils of misinformation
- Today’s dating game versus twenty years ago
- What to buy for someone older
- Why younger men date older women
The list goes on.
Late in the fifty-minute set, Lacy touches on some more serious issues such overcoming heroin addiction and what it means to be clean, as well as an altercation with a well-known male comedian, and how she was treated by both sexes in its aftermath. That she was able to address these episodes with reflective humour, gave both moments cathartic meaning.
Handling that information in her stride, Lacy comes through with the promise of a ‘happy ending’. This surprise element had me crying with laughter and is alone worth the price of admission.
Fans of comedians such as Judith Lucy, Anne Edmonds, Kitty Flanagan, Fiona O’Loughlin, Denise Scott, and Cal Wilson will enjoy and appreciate Tania Lacy. With several moments of audience interaction thrown into the mix, this is a performer who knows her demographic well.
The perfect pick-me-up after a long day at work, Everything’s Coming Up Roses is playing at Campari House on Hardware Lane until Sunday April 9.