Well, we saw Judith Lucy last night at the Sydney Opera House Playhouse. Let me get this out of the way right now – I thought she was awful!
I’ll admit I’ve never been a massive fan, but she’s usually been good for a chuckle whenever I’ve happened to catch her on the radio. But I barely cracked a smile last night. And when I did it was only because I was in the second row and afraid that if I sat stony-faced for 90 minutes she might pick on me. Because – and here’s my biggest gripe about the show – audience participation was a main feature.
I don’t mind the odd bit of audience interaction – heckling latecomers is a nice way to warm up a crowd, for example. But to be constantly talking to people in the audience gets tired pretty quick. After almost every gag she’d ask for a show of hands to see how many people agreed, or canvas people’s opinion. “What did everyone think of the movie Australia?”
And then she spent about 20 minutes discussing the differences between gen-X and gen-Y, a topic which pretty much shits me to tears at the best of times. We’ve heard it all before, Judith, and it’s not even funny! She picked a couple of young people (early 20s) in the front row and asked them a range of quite personal questions about their sex lives, drug intake, and so on. Aren’t we over pubic hair jokes? Honestly.
For someone who considers herself a feminist (she drove this point home several times during the show) Judith is pretty down on herself. We got to hear how upset she was that no Italian men hit on her during a recent European holiday, among a bunch of other “poor me” gags.
I’m certainly no fashionista, but Judith’s low-cut, black strapless dress was a train wreck. And although I feel uncomfortable commenting on someone else’s physical appearance, I’ll do so anyway. Let me just say she looked quite puffy from the second row. I could see the individual hairs on her arms too, which was a little disconcerting. This may be a little out of order, but her hair was pulled back in a way such that her general appearance reminded me of the portrait of Captain Cook they always show you in primary school.
Back to the gags. Or lack of them. Judith’s delivery has always grated with me a little. It just seems so put on. But admittedly most of the audience loved it. All she had to do to elicit screams of laughter was to mention her vagina. (There’s a tip to all aspiring female comedians.) And again, the reliance on getting laughs from hassling members of the audience doesn’t sit well with me. Shouldn’t a comedian – especially one with twenty years’ experience – be able to make you laugh at least once in ninety minutes?
The only buzz I got was when she mentioned that the show was almost over. Ahh, escape! Sweet freedom! She closed by singing (and I use the term loosely – which I suppose is her intention) “Send in the Clowns”, perhaps a last poke at herself. She’s the clown, get it?
However, the night wasn’t a total let-down. When we returned to the car I discovered Australia was 8 for 203. Go England!