Laura Dunemann’s silly anecdotes and paired-back comedy style made for a thoroughly enjoyable evening at her Fringe show ‘Laura Dunemann: It’s Time for Death’.
We were running late, and almost collided into Dunemann herself as we burst through a tucked-away door at the top of The Courthouse Hotel to find a very small, very full room. Although the audience were practically sitting on top each other, and the ventilation was scant (‘tell your friends to come, and maybe tell them to wear their bathers’) it was a fitting space, as Dunemann’s comedy is so intimate and relatable that she’ll feel like a new best friend.
‘It’s Time For Death’ is premised around Dunemann’s fear of the end, yet as she rattles off her many death fantasies, you realise that this fear is also an obsession, and a very funny one at that. Her off-kilt imagination takes you from ordinary, often awkward real-life situations to the absurd, from her fear of shark attacks to a full-blown royal shark wedding.
The theme of the night in no way constrained the show’s scope. Oh no, Dunemann manages to pack a wide, eclectic punch in 50 minutes. From amusing emoji banter complete with flashcards, to earnest dance sequences, Dunemann takes you on giggle-filled adventure. In one of my favourite moments, Dunemann brings out a scrapbook she made when she was 16 – ‘while the other girls were giving blowjobs, I was sitting at home, cutting and pasting.’
Ultimately, Dunemann’s talent is in her willingness to expose the most flawed elements of herself. She shares her most embarrassing moments and hang-ups, and gives you permission to laugh along with her. In the process, she reminds us of the silliness in the ordinary, and makes us more comfortable with our own flaws.
If you’re lucky enough to get a spot in the tiny room with Laura Dunemann, you’re in for a warm, intimate evening with an utterly likable host. Even if you do have to strip down to your bathers, it will certainly be worth it.
Emma is an avid reader, writer, and teller of tall tales. Her hobbies include petting dogs and sipping red wine; ideally at the same time.
‘It’s Time for Death’ runs until 4 October at The Courthouse Hotel.
The venue is not wheelchair accessible.