Amelia Jane Hunter is ‘Dear Endora’
Amelia Jane Hunter @ Saldechin
10:45pm, Wed 2 Mar 2011
After witnessing Amelia Jane Hunter’s catharsis in 2010, I was keen to see how she’d follow it up. Now, she’s no stranger to grungy character pieces… and that’s pretty much what she brought to town this year.
Endora is a somewhat-renowned Agony Aunt, an advice columnist; the performance begins with her performing the formal opening of a bizarre new-age freak conference. Obviously sozzled, she lets the attendees know what she really thinks about their practices; but from there, there’s an awkward transition as she transports the audience to her home, where she fulfills her duties by lazing on the lounge, answering letters from her followers.
And it’s here that Hunter’s comedy really shines, as the letters allow her to set up outlandish scenarios for her to riff on. There’s the guy who’s into farm machinery (bringing with him references to “the Dyson Incident”), and the (inexplicable) woman who defecated in mid-air whilst dancing nude at a work Christmas show. And while the letters themselves are funny, it’s Endora’s crude and blunt – and occasionally derisory – responses that really bring the laughs.
It really helps that Hunter develops Endora herself; there’s a real sense of belief, of conviction, in her delivery. The controlled desperation in the guzzling of rosé is palpable; the cat-hating taxidermy cheeringly familiar (to me, anyway). And one of my favourite lines of the show was when Endora talked about her need for “me time” – then mentioned that the Funstar cruise ship was “a floating herpes.”
The start of the show, whilst bloody amusing, felt tacked on – its connection to the rest of the material was minimal. But the rest of the performance was gruff, crude, and wonderfully convincing… I loved spending time with Endora.