Gird your loins and come for the comedy
By Vikki Doig
Sex, vagina, penis, pubes, ball slappage – doesn’t it just feel better to say these things out loud? And that’s exactly what Nellie White’s One-Handed Show: An Introduction to Pornography for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival seeks to do.
I haven’t always enjoyed porn. As a young innocent I felt particularly uncomfortable at the sights and sounds of people’s carnal bliss. However, as I grew older and wiser in my sexual journey, it became comforting to see people try new things (sometimes things that seemed logistically impossible!) but, more importantly, sex became less scary – even funny! So how could I pass up the opportunity to see a fellow pornophile throw social niceties out the window and talk about sex, baby?
Nellie’s One-Handed Show is certainly not for the faint-hearted. There was a clear feeling of trepidation amongst the crowd upon entering the cosy performance space. The first thing I noticed was the distinct lack of people sitting in the front row – as if that’s a surefire way to avoid being called upon in a 24-seat venue. The fear of audience-participation becomes heightened when sexy-talk is involved…
Nellie had an unassuming innocence on stage which immediately endeared her to us and it was refreshing to be slapped in the face with her unexpected explicit punchlines, casual description of threesomes, sexual exploits (or sexploits, if you will) and graphic imagery.
There were times, though, when I felt more like I was listening to a friend talk about what they’d been up to on the weekend than watching a comedy show, and what the show lacked was a cohesive flow, a bit of direction and strong delivery to pull it all together. It was unclear whether it was a show designed to shock us, encourage us to discuss our own sexploits, make us feel uncomfortable, educate us (Nellie really does know a lot about the history of porn!) or all or none of the above.
The concept was bold, confronting and interesting and all the elements of a good show were groped, caressed and touched upon, but it didn’t quite come together on the night.
Venue: The Tuxedo Cat
Dates: April 11-21
Time: 9.45pm (Sunday 8.45pm)
Bookings: MICF online