comedy review: loretta maine’s ‘bipolar’
Last night I found myself lined up outside the Powder Room of Melbourne’s Town Hall, waiting to go see Loretta Maine’s new show, Bipolar, part of this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival. I had never heard of Loretta Maine before, but a quick Google on my phone assured me that she was ‘sexy’ and ‘psychotic.’ A photo revealed that she looked like a drunk, female Tim Minchin, and Wikipedia informed me that she was the creation of English comedian Pippa Evans. However, I still had no idea what brand of comedy I was about to see. With a name like Bipolar, I assumed that I was going to see a show about mental illness, though I couldn’t tell whether it would be thought-provoking or shamelessly irreverent.
As the show started, Maine in all her drunken glory claimed the stage, with two unimpressed backup musicians, Casey Bennetto and Tony Day, behind her. Her first song, the titular Bipolar, had the crowd simultaneously in stitches and fearing for their lives as Maine quickly swapped from being ecstatically happy to scowling almost murderously. Drinking from tiny little bottles of ‘ladylike’ wine, Maine related her bitter tales of woe through song; from a failed relationship in Isn’t Love a Funny Thing, a failed one night stand in Coma, to a failed night out in White Wine Witch. Maine also deftly explored the complexities of body issues and feminism in the twenty-first century, and the equally important issue of coffee.
Loretta Maine’s show lasted an hour, but I have been quoting and singing her songs for the past two days! Bipolar is hilarious, disturbing, memorable, and a must-see for fans of musical comedy and dark humour.
‘Bipolar’ is running until the 21st of April as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, with shows starting at 8.30pm Tues-Sat, and 7.30pm Sun, and lasting for an hour. Tickets are between $25.50 – $31.50 and Loretta Maine’s CD ‘Bipolar’ is available after the show for $10.