Comedy, Reviews, Stage

Becky Lucas (Melbourne International Comedy Festival)

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Becky Lucas comes on stage in a packed room to loud music, looking much younger than she says she is, and her comedy reflects that youthful look.

It’s embedded in her tales of “that girl” she went to school with, no upper lip and tension abounding. She looks and sounds like a university undergrad.

Although claiming to be a “lazy” feminist, her work is bound up in the expression of feminist thought, from the frustration that comes from listening to some guy on a plane talk about his wife and kids which makes her feel like a stripper; to stories of failed relationships. There is a thread through it all — the story of the polite, good girl who won’t rock the boat and who puts up with ridiculous shit from men because of it.

Stylistically she reminds me of Isla Fisher, if she were a stand-up. There is the same girl next door look undercut by subtle winks, nods and eyes that sparkle mischievously to deliver a punch line. All innocent looking, but not innocent at all. She brings a certain dissonance into her routine through the careful dropping of the c-bomb and words during a fairly innocuous story.

She is consistently able to deliver a delayed punchline — and like a four second grenade she lets the audience follow her lines and then devastates them with a wink or a twinkle.

Whether it’s early days in the development of her act or simply her persona, there’s an occasional uncertainty in her demeanour. There are times when more assertion might define a point more quickly, or when she pauses to catch breath and you can almost see her thinking where to go next. Don’t be fooled though– she can handlea heckler with assurance and rapier-wit retorts.

Becky Lucas works within the structures and tropes of the typical (male) stand-up act, but quietly contradicts them. And…she’s very funny. Well worth seeing.

Becky Lucas’ Baby is playing the Acacia Room at the Victoria Hotel until April 17

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