Forget time + tragedy = comedy, let’s say instead, Celia Pacquola + 55 minutes = downright funny.
As a comedian, performer and writer, Celia, it seems, is forging herself a most enviable reputation both here and abroad, winning prestigious comedy awards and nominations; and 2016 marks her 10th anniversary in stand-up.
In this year’s show, The Looking Glass, an introspective work (given the title), is laced with acute observations cum truths and niggling insecurities. She reminded me of a pre-pubescent teen at times – giggly, with a kilowatt smile and flailing arms. Albeit, one that likes beer. A lot. Apparently.
Celia entered the stage to The Stones' Satisfaction (and rapturous applause) & exited to Meatloaf’s I’d Do Anything for Love But I Won’t Do That (obviously still with a skerrick of self respect) in spite of the fact, “she’s single and I’m fine.” Though she admitted, “it doesn’t matter, because no one believes me.” She then went on to introduce herself more formally, (for the benefit of those in a couple who hadn’t booked the ticket) “as the nice infrastructure lady from the ABC” who’s recently turned 33.
She then pored over lanyards, spooning, reading trilogies, karaoke, Sexpo (once), Melbourne’s two airports (who knew?), fun facts (re said airports), the relief of finding your tribe, supermodels who publish self-esteem books, internet dating, call backs (for second dates, not auditions), cat cafes, jeggings (a personal favourite – the joke, not the apparel) oysters, and likely scenarios VS never ever going to happen.
Her set was like a stream of consciousness – except one that had structure and pauses for great comedic effect. Delivered at a cracking pace with completely identifiable truths and torments all captured so beautifully.
At the end, she thanked us and acknowledged her 10-year milestone & asked that we go and take a chance on someone new in the Festival, someone that we’ve never heard of “because that was me 10 years ago.” Aaw. Funny, sincere and a giver – what’s not to like?
Stand up can be fraught with danger. But when you’re in good hands, like Celia’s, you’re in for a corker of a show. People paid to see her to laugh and be entertained and that’s exactly what they got. That, and a possible new deep-seated aversion to toe rings.
A Token Event
The Looking Glass
Venue: The Comedy Theatre | Cnr Exhibition & Lonsdale Sts, Melbourne
Dates: 30 Mar – 13 Apr 2016
Tickets: $34 – $39