In Look What You Made Me Do, Demi Lardner doesn’t do things by halves, despite her first name. She jumps inside the fishbowl of the public gaze, taking us on a ride of mercurial wonder at life’s weirdest quirks. It’s a session replete with kooky concepts, vocal impersonations, phallic focii, and the wonder that is her face-in-action. Plus, horse head masks.
An expert at slapstick, Lardner resembles a cartoon character. She does things her own way, having her own ‘naughty-kid’ vernacular her crowds love her for. There’s nothing ‘cool’ about her look. Sporting a collared white t-shirt, 1980s red fashion ‘sports’ shorts (very short), long white socks topped with three red stripes terminating in thongs (urgh!), her trademark baseball cap under which cascades her fringe of curly locks, and an offensive bumbag, she looks like an escapee from a summer camp. She possesses the same naive enthusiasm of such types, also.
She’s happy to play the fool. Much of her show, resembles the rollicking fun, humiliation, and public tomfoolery group gatherings enable. She’s like your crazy bf whose bedroom you love escaping to on a Saturday night, with no parents, some booze, loud music and lots of costume changes! The jokes keep rolling in and on from this queen of the one-liner and cheeky puns.
She has many stories to regale us with, drawing from Australian suburbia, her fictional ‘family’, and a cast of avuncular characters. In a show about a man, ‘Gavin’, trapped in a basement, who takes a call from a telemarketer, ‘Sandra’ (male). We also get ‘Alan’, a 60+ nut who tells never-ending stories about being chased down by geese! Gavin is trying to claim on his life insurance, and answers 36 questions to see if he qualifies.
This show is pacey and fun, interspersed with ‘Dear Diary’ cutaways, synth anthems about ‘bad ideas’ and finding one’s ‘secret stash’(she moves into the crowd), a ‘horse divorce’ and ‘baptismal dog kisses’. Her advice to ‘do a listen’ and declarations she ‘went to uni’ as-defence showcase her flair for conversational humour. There is also a super-cute turtle-box costume.
Unafraid to bare her arse to us, small and powerful, Demi is a comedy-ninja. One of the must-see acts in the national comedy scene, this show has my vote for 2017’s best exit. Think Michelangelo’s David, but call it ‘Demi’. Let this trickster take you on a fantasy escapade into the la la land that is her head- and our delight!
Sarah W. is a dance-trained theatre lover with a flair for the bold and non-traditional performance platforms. On the street or in the box seat, she looks for quality works that push the envelope.
Look What You Made Me Do runs 30 March–23 April, 7pm (55 minutes), at Backstage room, Melbourne Town Hall. Purchase tickets now. The venue is accessible.
Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of Laughing Stock Productions.
Image credit: Melbourne International Comedy Festival.