Queen of Australian Comedy Enters Her Golden Years

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It’s hard to imagine the Australian comedy scene without thinking of Judith Lucy, and her shows have proven as popular as ever at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Ask No Questions Of The Moth is Lucy’s latest offering, set in the comfort of the Playhouse in at the Arts Centre from March 25th to April 12th. From slut shaming, Tony Abbot, death, masturbation, menopause to being a cougar, Lucy gives a no holds barred account of her less than positive year.

A gladiator of the ’90s comedy scene, Lucy is best known for her dry, sarcastic inflection and her impeccably timed, often self-deprecating, punch lines that leave the audience rolling their seats. The Playhouse was absolutely packed with buzzing patrons and of course her loyal LGTIQ fan base. It’s a simple setting, just the stage and a projected photo of Lucy and her family from some time in the ’70s.

She enters shaking maracas and generally making a dill of herself before breaking the ice with a little Q&A with the audience. The slightly alarmed front row is asked about whether their year was good or bad. Ducking and weaving with witty answers Lucy shows off her trademark slicing responses and she banters warmly with her audience.

The show is in typical anecdotal style, but it’s a more mature and kinder version of Judith Lucy. The audience giggles and laughs in horror as she recalls the physical changes she’s been going through with menopause. While the dry delivery of the gory details gets me laughing, it’s clear that this is a show catered to an older female crowd. The once edgy woman who made jokes about her excessive drinking and bad life choices has mellowed into the middle aged sassy Lucy. While everyone finds something to laugh about with her new material, it feels slightly forced, the conclusions she’s making about this particular stage in life is nothing new and seems to alienate some of her younger fans.

However, the feminist tones of her show are delivered strongly but effortlessly. Making fun of ‘dick pics’ and the pressure to have a child, she was able to make a serious point about the double standards placed on women and the everyday sexism that they endure in a very funny way. All the women in the room were able to laugh at the inequality, rather than be the joke themselves.

On the way out, I overheard a woman say that she’s was bored to death. While the one sitting next to me said she’s never laughed so much in her life. Lucy has enjoyed a wonderful, fruitful career and is still as funny as ever. Her new mature vibe may be a little cliché, and I was expecting more from this show, but after a career like hers, she’s earned the right to lay back and make jokes about being over the hill.

Judith Lucy’s Ask No Questions Of The Moth
Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Friday April 10, 7pm; Sunday April 12, 6pm

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