Friday, 27 March 2015

Judith Lucy, 26 March 2015 ****

Ask No Questions of the Moth
Playhouse, Arts Centre Melbourne, 26 March until 12 April 2015
Melbourne Comedy Festival
Reviewer: Kate Herbert
Stars: ****
Review also published in Herald Sun online today, Fri 27 March, 2015. KH

Judith Lucy’s distinctive brand of stand-up comedy is a blend of unashamed, confessional humour and unbridled naughtiness that makes her simultaneously adorable and a bit alarming.

Looking sassy, she arrives on stage shaking maracas and wearing a figure-hugging, black gown reminiscent of a 40s movie star.

Lucy’s show may be cryptically titled Ask No Questions Of The Moth, but she has no qualms about relentlessly questioning audience members who had a bad year in 2014.

She strolls among the front rows, teasing audience victims in her inimitable, laconic and strangely unthreatening style while engaging with their cheerful or tragic stories.

Her material is clever and hilarious, but often it is simply her vocal quality and sardonic tone that make us laugh.

Perhaps her greatest comic asset is her measured, modulated, singsong voice that is almost a parody of a TV advertorial presenter or a CWA woman explaining a scone recipe to an idiot.

With the acerbic tone of a cynical, social critic, she relates bizarre and banal experiences from her recently aired TV show, Judith Lucy Is All Woman.

Her theme is change; how rapidly it comes upon us through ageing, death, relationships or careers and how quickly our lives can change from tears to laughter and back again.

As she strolls across the stage gripping her microphone, her musings meander from homophobia in the USA to masturbation, from her pet hates (hipster beards and reality TV are high on the list) to the cheesy prose of Fifty Shades of Grey.

She quips about her recently acquired partner (He’s 12 years younger), criticises slut shaming, bemoans menstruation, menopause and female-friendly porn or ponders the frequent collision of grief and sex.

Nothing is verbotten in Lucy’s comedy, including a bit of gallows humour; death can be funny after a bit of time passes.

Judith Lucy is hilariously unrestrained and unembarrassed. She doesn’t do prudery but she does rudery with charm.

By Kate Herbert

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