Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (FringeTIX – one night only; sucks to be you!)
A whole bunch o’ comedians @ SA Writer’s Centre
8:00pm, Tue 20 Mar 2007
This collaboration of comedians, organised by local girl Jess McKenzie, managed to pull in a full-house for this one-night-only benefit gig (supporting underprivileged children in Vietnam).
First out of the gate was the only non-Girl, Mark Trenwith, who performed an enthusiastic bumbling act of half-laughs – with most mirth coming from the fact that he received little support from those behind-the-scenes (his musical gags arriving a good minute-or-so late in most cases) capped off with the first serious gut-laugh for the audience – a re-creation of the Crazy Frog, complete with crash helmet and no pants. And I’m talking about the non-English interpretation of “pants” here; not sure how well flashing Mr Happy would’ve worked in a show called “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”, could go either way really.
Kehau Jackson was next up, and she was fantastic. Her bit was very similar in style to the last time I saw her, and that’s no bad thing; I’d heard tales of her tattooed son before, but the drooping breast diatribe was laugh-a-second stuff. If Titters! wasn’t completely sold out, I’d be recommending people to see it – just for Kehau.
Hannah Gadsby performed a good-sized chunk of her solo show, with no new material – not that that’s a bad thing in Hannah’s case, and the second look at some of her material helped me appreciate her delivery a lot more. It’s very measured, almost monotonic, but with a sprinkling of perfectly timed inflexions that are worth the price of admission alone.
Finally, Fiona O’Loughlin performed her usual “world’s worst mum/wife” thing, and her talent was evident from the get-go; she wandered in, sized the crowd up, and started ripping into story after self-denigrating story, tale after tall tale, leaving the audience gasping for breath because they were laughing too hard. Once again, I’m not sure I’d happily sit through an hour of O’Loughlin’s humour, but a 20-25 minute chunk is absolutely divine.
The big disappointment of the night was the organiser and emcee, Jess McKenzie. Previously, I’d confessed that I loved her style and that she’d be ace in a few years; she’s most definitely not there yet. Reusing a ton of material from last year’s show, she managed to somehow stifle all the goodwill and giggles in the air and create huge laugh-free zones in between each of the guests. To her credit, she never lost her cheeky grin; to her detriment, she stayed on way longer than she should have. Every single time. Still, the rest of the comedians were sufficiently excellent to make it all worthwhile.