As the show started, however, I forgot about its title. Judith took to the stage with a couple of maracas, some rhythmic jiggly wiggles and the assertion that “Fuck I can move.”
She wasted no time in interacting with the audience. Apparently the comedian had had an incredibly shit 2014 and wanted to know who else had had a bad year. Discussion followed. Some audience responses were better than others, but Judith's quick wit managed to elicit laughs from even the dullest of answers.
Late comers, as is their wont, came late and in keeping with tradition became the fodder of the comedian. (One wonders if these people are not just attention seekers, knowing full well that they will be picked upon and made part of the show). Again, however, Judith elicited plenty of laughs from this potentially and frequently lame tradition. She bantered and abused in the most endearing of ways, telling some late comers to fuck off because she didn't like the look of them, or noting that although some were 15 minutes late, they still made the time to stop at the bar to bring in a glass of bubbles. Indeed this section went on for close to 20 minutes and could have gone on for longer, because so many people really do arrive that late. And also because however Judith engaged with the audience, it was natural and funny.
But there was an actual show with actual material. Superficially it was a an observational type of show where the comedian sees foibles in human nature that the rest of us haven't seen before, or sees the same stupid things we all see but delivers these observations in a fresh that's-so-true way. This kind of stuff relies heavily on the comedian's individual personality or character or schtick. Judith Lucy has her delivery down-pat. One friend told me they don't like Lucy's voice; another said the voice is everything, and that when she thinks of her she can hear her saying “Ooh look, I dunno but...” It's a kind of rolling, whiny, lilting voice that to her fans is like sweet music.
And the observations? We're talking – or rather Judith is talking – sex, masturbation, menstruation, dick pics, pubic hair trimming, much talk about various aspects of the vagina, those awful toe nail fungus posters you see in chemists, her new younger boyfriend, menopause... it's all pretty raw stuff about various aspects of being human. It's all real and natural, so why not have a bit of a talk and a bit of a laugh about it?
There was also much talk of non-physical aspects of being human, like the silliness of various trends, the importance we place on tweets, and the ugliness of anonymous online comments. There were also some political insults that were probably a bit more heartfelt that the ones occasionally aimed at audience members, as well as the occasional little anecdote that shined for its simple hilarity. The one about the luggage handle comes to mind.
A lot of the stories came from Judith's coverage of her recent ABC documentary series mentioned in the opening paragraph. She ran through each episode and shared the insights she gained both on screen and behind the scenes.
At around the hour and a half mark, a subtle, ponderous vibe made its presence felt. I pulled back from being fully immersed in the comedy and started to have thoughts, like she sometimes acts like she doesn't like some humans, but I think she actually does like them, funny little buggers they are. And that weird poster for the show with Judith in the moth suit and the name of the show – what does it all mean?
Just then, closing the show, Judith referred again to the photo of some of her family members that was projected behind her, and all was explained in a strangely uplifting and poignant way.
Judith Lucy shares a lot of herself in Ask No Questions Of The Moth. She shares her humour, her intelligence, and a little bit of wisdom too.
A Token Event
Ask No Questions Of The Moth
Venue: Arts Centre Melbourne
Dates: 25 Mar – 12 Apr, 2015
Tickets: $49.90 – $35
Part of the 2015 Melbourne International Comedy Festival