Fiona O'Loughlin Review @ Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2019

Fiona O'Loughlin Fiona O'Loughlin

Coming off the back of her acclaimed show 'Gap Year', Fiona O’Loughlin returns to the stage offering a brand-new hour of stand-up with 'Addresses The Nation'.

Shifting the focus away from her usual self-deprecating brand of humour, O’Loughlin frames the show from her perspective as a baby boomer to throw intergenerational stones about the Silent Generation, Gen X and millennials. She also takes a topical dig at the repression she witnessed within the regional Catholic community she was raised in.

As for ‘addressing the nation’, however, this is about as far as O’Loughlin goes. At the beginning of the performance, O’Loughlin herself acknowledges this isn’t a show offering hot takes on today’s pressing political topics, despite the promotional material surrounding it claiming to be a critique of 'where, what and who are full of the most bullsh.t in 2019'.

Instead, the hour of stand-up is more an autobiographical exploration of the comedian’s personal life, as is her trademark. If the thought of a baby boomer addressing intergenerational differences makes you cringe, fear not – O’Loughlin praises the way each generation has paved the way for the next, and the few socio-political issues that are touched upon are handled tactfully.

What 'Addresses The Nation' does live up to is everything O’Loughlin’s made a name for herself with – carefully crafted, expertly delivered anecdotes from a master storyteller that’ll have you grinning from ear to ear. A far cry from 'Gap Year'’s confessional vibe detailing her lowest point struggling with alcoholism and homelessness, 'Addresses The Nation' sees O’Loughlin spinning nostalgic yarns about motherhood, growing up in a South Australian country town and her relationship with her ex-husband. There’s even a particularly hilarious tale woven in involving one of the Umbilical Brothers and a case of accidental international drug smuggling.

Although I’m slightly disappointed O’Loughlin didn’t air her grievances about Nicole Kidman as promised in the show’s bio, it was still an absolute pleasure watching the comedian skilfully engage the crowd while chuckling heartily at her own gags. If you’re in need of a light-hearted pick-me-up this festival season, O’Loughlin’s got you covered.

'Fiona O’Loughlin Addresses the Nation' runs at the Athenaeum Theatre until 7 April.


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