My Piano and Me
Sarah Gaul @ Gluttony – The Pig Pen
5:45pm, Thu 7 Mar 2013
I have to be honest: for the first third of this performance, I was smiling through gritted teeth. I like to give performers something to work with… I like them to think that, no matter how badly they’re doing, they’ve got a friend in the audience in me.
But I was really struggling to maintain that positivity. I’d come to this show on a whim, with no real expectations (except, perhaps, that a piano may be involved), and Sarah Gaul’s opening salvo of jokes left a lot to be desired. Tired themes, stretching for punchlines that weren’t really there… even her piano playing felt simplistic and a little clunky.
But then something changed. Some snark entered her stories; her jokes became tainted with an aggressively nasty streak. Vegan zealots were the first victims of this successful foray; then came stick-figure-car-families.
And, as her material became ever darker, as her ire increased… so did the laughs.
Now, don’t get me wrong – the slow start was almost unforgivable, and some of the musical pieces that underpin her comical songs are (charitably) crude. But when Gaul launches into a piece that starts with the ickiness of being pursued by a stalker, then turns it around by brutally murdering him… well, let’s just say that I’m very interested to see how she develops her act in the future.
— Pete Muller (@festivalfreakAU) March 7, 2013