Zoe Coombs Marr is DAVE
Zoe Coombs Marr @ Tuxedo Cat – Rivers Studio
8:30pm, Sun 22 Feb 2015
Dave would have to be one of the most rank, feral, sleazy shitbag characters to ever grace a stage, I reckon. An aspiring comic, he’s anxious for his stage time to reflect all that is great about the World of Dave… and that makes for a deeply unsettling hour.
Oh – and it’s funny. Dave is funny. We laugh at him – at his poor humour, poor judgement, poor presentation, poor choices… and the yawning chasm of desperation that he inadvertently shows. He’s a hateful, yet utterly sympathetic character.
But it only works because Dave is played by a woman.
Zoe Coombs Marr has created a character that, because of her portrayal of him, is able to get away with some of the most politically incorrect stuff that I’ve heard onstage this year – christ, it still feels bad to have laughed at that rape joke. But because Dave is supposed to be an every-man – or an every-comic – she’s able to put a lot of home-truths into his act, and – in turn – make her act potently political.
And funny. Did I mention that Dave is funny?
With his filthy thin ponytail, sweaty neckbeard, a backhanded admonishment for women, and an overly desperate need for companionship (Dave was constantly trying to find out where I lived so he could come over and hang out), it’s impossible to like Dave on any level. With his terribly immature rant about the hidden clitoris, it’s impossible not to pity him. When he seems like he’s walking down a path to discovering that he’s gay, it’s impossible not to piss yourself laughing at Zoe’s performance, with Dave’s mental contortions evident on his slimy face. And when Dave falls onstage, and stands back up with a trickle of blood running down his face… well, I felt equal parts happy and sad.
In the months since I encountered Dave‘s efforts at comedy, I’ve had opportunities to really mull over its qualities… and I reckon that I’d rave more about it now than I did back then. It’s an astonishingly astute, repulsive, and loveable character that Zoe Coombs Marr has developed; the emotional dissonance I felt in that hour was quite unlike anything else I’ve experienced.
— Pete Muller (@festivalfreakAU) February 22, 2015