Introducing Gay Mae.
Or is she? In her comedy show ‘Us‘, Mae Martin investigates the ridiculousness of labelling sexuality and the unwarranted concern of other people. Mae Martin is just a little bit ridiculously lucky, growing up in a household with very very liberal parents who raised her and her brother in a gender neutral environment with no forced roles or assumptions – although Mae called herself out for asking a two-year-old boy if he had a girlfriend at kinder. It’s a thing a bunch of us do, and it’s more than a little crappy.
‘Us‘ is a bit disconnected and segmenting, jumping from the realisation that most of our neuroses are almost definitely our parents’ fault, to doomed childhood queer crushes ending in shame and with a few great anecdotes about middle aged women getting very drunk and labelling themselves as goddesses. There were definite themes running through, but the glue that held it all together was Mae’s anecdotes. There were hits and misses (her tale of her infant brother biting his nudist dad’s penis under the table had most in the room wincing). In the midst of the anecdotes is a clear tendency for oversharing – including the hotel name where most comedians are staying, and her own room number. I sure hope that didn’t backfire.
There were a few classic puns thrown in (I really hope she knows about Golden Gaytimes to go along with her 50 shades of gay lines), and by the end of the show it felt just like I’d got to know a new person and they’d told me all of their deepest darkest secret crushes and all about their child self’s slight nudist tendencies marring the family Christmas dinner.
Go along to ‘Us’ and learn a thing or two about what you are or aren’t and why it doesn’t really matter unless you want it to. Jeremy Irons is also heavily featured, if that sells it to you more.
Jasmin Ashton is a PR whiz and freelance writer/designer from Melbourne who has a lot of feelings about pretty much everything. Find her at @Jasmanna.
‘Us’ runs from 24 March to 17 April. The Melbourne Town Hall is wheelchair accessible.
Check out our guide to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival for more great shows.