Monday, April 8, 2013

Synchronised tag team teases out a double dose of laughs

Reviewer rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars


Princess Theatre
Until April 21

Veterans of the comedy stage and mistresses of the page, Judith Lucy and Denise Scott join forces in a dynamic pairing that splices stand-up and author tour. The Spiral takes place against a backdrop of egregiously large posters for their latest books.

Judith Lucy's Drink, Smoke, Pass Out (a sarcastic swipe at Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love) takes the road to excess to the cheap motel of wisdom, and as Lucy puts it in the show, "I tried to write about spirituality in a way that didn't make people want to vomit''. Denise Scott's The Tour is a travelling memoir in which she vomits everywhere.

Their literary pretensions are hung out to dry in a pre-recorded segment with Age literary editor Jason Steger, which devolves into a slagfest with Lucy sticking pins in J.K. Rowling and Scott referring to the Bronte sisters as "a pack of molls".

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The stand-up is a tag-team affair: ragging audience members in the front row turns into a double dose of humiliation, and the material pings between Scott's self-deprecating anecdotes and the sardonic observations Judith Lucy is famous for.

They're two contrasting comediennes whose demeanour and delivery gleefully complete one another, and if there are moments when their timing isn't in tandem, it is perhaps because they're so used to holding the stage solo.

That doesn't stop them from a shameless and perfectly synchronised climax, before some brief author readings and an audience Q&A at the end. Either of these performers is capable of tickling an audience pink; together, you can expect to be red raw.


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