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Gabe Hogan: Pretty Witty and Gabe (Melbourne Comedy Festival)

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After a blessed run of terrific, thought provoking shows and a lot of laughs, there had to a misfire. Unfortunately Gabe Hogan’s show was it.

Hogan’s show is ostensibly about discovering her inner gay self at age 36. She bounces onstage and makes straight for her wine, making a crack about only wanting to get there for that. She seems not quite “on” today, a little unsure of herself.

The first section of material is all fairly standard stand up fare. So much so that I can’t really recall it with clarity. There’s some sparring with the front row, but really nothing special or unique is happening.

Some stuff though is plainly funny enough for some sections of the audience who are loving it.

Her best material is the off comments and retorts. She’s plainly a very witty person, but is stymied tonight by material which feels same old/same old, a nervy delivery; and she keeps slamming down the drink.

That’s another time honoured stand -up tradition, the drinking comedian. Hogan never appears at all affected, it’s just the relish and vigour with which she attacks the bottle that is a little disconcerting.

She then moves on to talk about the discovery of her sexuality. Again, what could have been exceptionally personal and maybe bitter-sweet funny, too easily descended into gags we’ve heard before; about menstrual synchronicity, for example.

Hogan’s delivery has by now improved markedly, spurred on by the laughter from sections of the audience. We seemed be in two equal camps – hysterically laughing or completely unmoved a lot of the time – and often in response to the same jokes.

Gabe Hogan – Pretty Witty and Gabe runs until April 21

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