Ah Maria where have you been? Southern California, apparently. But it’s been eight years since she graced Melbourne’s comedy fest with her presence and as soon as you’ve seen her for a few minutes, you’ll realise there’s been something important missing from your life.
Such as her smart, anarchic way of looking at the world, and assessing its silliness with a delightfully deadpan delivery.
Bamford is the quiet, understated voice that will always offer the loudest challenge to inequality or injustice or hypocrisy.
She refers several times to her mental instability, medication, her kooky family, physical fatigue and erratic past, and she holds the microphone with a pronounced tremor, but her sense of humour reflects a mental energy, agility and attitude of a person half her age.
And she is funny. There are no down beats with Bamford, just build ups to the next wacky observation and inevitable set of laughs.
Her subject matter is eclectic: Trump comes in for a serve (although you’ll love the way she bonds with the alt-right trolls who defend him), gentrification gets a look in, plus white privilege, the living wage, yoga and religion – and sometimes she is the butt of her own jokes, with a hysterical segment dedicated to her experience on a reality TV show.
But her special power is that she is an excellent voice actor, and can switch characters with a twitch of facial muscles and flick of the vocal chords. It adds extra sauce to her delicious storytelling.
It’s a privilege witnessing how brilliant Bamford’s brain is; she seems super settled and is even ok with sharp objects, so get along and see her while you have a chance.
2019 Melbourne International Comedy Festival
The Irrelevant Redundancy
by Maria Bamford
Venue: The Forum | 154 Flinders St, Melbourne VIC
Dates: 9 – 13 April 2019
Tickets: $35 – $40