What a wit is Lou Sanz. Her show at The Butterfly Club, Neverending Storage is a fine work of comic writing. It has nothing to do with the Never Ending Story by the way, although there may have been metaphorical references. It’s clever without being smartarse; it’s subtle and sophisticated; you can see how it won the Critic’s Choice at the Sydney Comedy Festival in 2012. Neverending Storage is top writing; Sanz’s flair for detail is superb, as befits a good screenwriter. The show is generation-specific; there are many references to popular culture of the mid-2000’s that went over my head (Sanz is at least 20 years younger than me) but given how much laughter there was in response to the bits this old dear didn’t get, they obviously worked.
Sanz’s comedy is observational/absurdist, gentle humour which is neither crude nor tacky, and gives audiences the gift of assuming they’re intelligent, something refreshing after so much of the aggressive self-indulgence you have to endure during so many comedy nights. Sanz is a honey to watch on stage with a warm presence; she is a seasoned storyteller by now so the show is very fluent. It is a subtle show that builds up the story in a beguiling sort of manner, slowly getting funnier and funnier in a way that is actually hard to describe but is due to the honesty, the layering of detail and the self-referential connections to each ‘bit’. Although the premise of the show involves the inevitable story of ‘failed relationships’ – and by the time you’ve heard the details how glad you are for Ms Sanz that she escaped some of these men
She manages to put an idiosyncratic spin on tales of lost love and the show doesn’t come across as self-indulgent in the least, despite the content being so personal. She’s actually thought her material through and worked up a tight narrative. Sanz has a turn of phrase that’s clever without being pretentious and which doesn’t engage with word play for the sake of it. I’ve seen other comics try to do what Sanz does here but not nearly as successfully. The only bit that was slightly disappointing was the filmed reveal at the end, nothing too problematical, it was just anti-climactic. She illustrates the show with cartoons, themselves a nice comic touch. And there’s a happy ending!
Venue: The Butterfly Club | Carson Place, off Little Collins St, Melbourne
Dates: 22 – 27 July, 2014
Tickets: $23 – $20