Corinne Grant used to be a hoarder. Not a Today Tonight exposé kind of hoarder, or at least, not quite, but enough of a hoarder that she could piece together a pretty hilarious comedy show to accompany her comedic memoir Lessons In Letting Go: Confessions of a Hoarder and tour it around the country, including to the 2012 Brisbane Festival. Sentimental collector of old, dead flower arrangements, saver of a baby bath that has no use, especially because she's not a mother, Grant has struck upon comedy gold with her hoarding habits and the stories that go along with her collection of clutter. Deeply personal, sometimes thought provoking and at all times highly amusing, Grant's show Have My Stuff is truly well done.
To place her on the scale of zen minimalist to junk menace, let's just say that Corinne Grant had enough stuff hidden away in her house prior to the book and tour to be able to give away to audience members a dozen formerly treasured items at every show she does, hence the production's apt title. Including a Sale of the Century style game show segment, the special Queensland edition, which involves the famous faces board displaying all the "faces of Campbell Newman", Have My Stuff involves the audience spectacularly well. From the minute she takes the stage, Grant is effortlessly likeable. Disarming and friendly, she all too easily coaxes out the stories of fellow hoarders in the audience. Hitting the comedic nail on the head of showing something in others that we see in ourselves, Grant has the audience in stitches as she leads the charge in recounting the very real need she felt to hold on to just about everything she came in contact with.
Grant masters timing in this show. The comedy comes steadily throughout the hour, which eradicates the need to build to a huge and hilarious final punch line. This allows Grant room to address more serious issues than the thought that just maybe a broken breadbin could one day become a flowerpot; the plight of asylum seekers and victims of war and natural disasters throws light on their connection with possessions, and in turn our own skewed idea of how much 'stuff' we really need. Balancing the sombre with the ridiculous is a talent Grant has finely honed, meaning the audience leaves with not only aching laugh muscles, but the sense of having gained something, if not an old object of Grant's, at least something to think about.
Corinne Grant has put together a very smart show in Have My Stuff and has done so without being patronising in the slightest. This is comedy for all the people who have ever moved house with boxes that haven't been unpacked from the last move or broken gadgets that have gathered dust for years. Loveable and laughable, together Corrine Grant and her stuff make for a fantastic evening.
Brisbane Festival and James Squire present
Have My Stuff
By Corinne Grant
Date: September 24, 2012
Venue: The Courier-Mail Spiegeltent, Cultural Forecourt, South Bank
More Info: corinnegrant.com.au/gigs