adelaide fringe comedy review: adelaide’s best break-up revenge
I really wanted to love Adelaide’s Best Break-up Revenge. I wanted Aj Rae’s comedy show about the break-up of a two-year relationship to be awesomely funny and cathartic and a launching pad for a brilliant career. But instead I felt like I’d run into a somewhat drunk girl in a bar bathroom who was angrily ranting about her ex. Which I might find funny or feel sympathetic about (at least for a while), except that I couldn’t escape this rant for an hour. I came away feeling that she was in greater need of some counselling than a paying audience.
Her subject (read: victim) was Chet Faker, a thinly veiled pseudonym so thinly veiled that it only took a guess and a light facebook search to figure out who he is. But this doesn’t inherently make the show any better or worse, it’s really just testament to how something like this has the potential to destroy someone’s reputation in a city like Adelaide (which Rae openly admits to wanting to do). But nonetheless, I don’t believe this did in fact do much to tarnish his reputation. It certainly makes him look like a doofus but Rae’s mission to make him undateable says far more about her than it does about him.
I am all for women talking about sex, and even better, making light of it, but as Rae spoke of chili in her “hot tamale” and being known as “threesome girl”, it seemed to have about as much relevance as the rampant small-penis jokes so popular amongst amateur male stand-ups. That’s also roughly how funny it was (read: not at all). But we all know that embarrassing someone sexually is scraping the bottom of the barrel, and it really just exemplified Rae’s immaturity rather than saying anything about her ex.
To her credit, her energy remained high throughout the show and she trudged on despite the lack of audience reaction. People were visibly awkward and not wanting to participate, but she performed vivaciously right through to the end.
There are essentially two options around this show: either Chet Faker is not that bad and Rae has a crazy fixation on him, or he was that bad and it’s genuinely upsetting and unfortunate that she has spent so much time and energy obsessing over him.
Ultimately what was missing from this show was heart. People don’t tend to put this much effort into things they don’t care about, which leads me to think that Rae was obviously hurt by the relationship and/or her ex, but there’s no sincerity in this show. The tedium I experienced while watching it just convinced me that you really shouldn’t air your dirty laundry when it’s this fresh. Not (necessarily) out of respect to whoever else is involved, but because you don’t yet have the perspective to realise that no one finds your breakups nearly as interesting as you do.