Celia Pacquola

Celia Pacquola

Australia's Celia Pacquola started comedy in 2006, winning the prize for best first-time entrant in the Raw Comedy open mic competition at that year's Melbourne International Comedy Festival after only a handful of gigs. The following year she performed as part of the festival's Comedy Zone showcase.

In 2008 she traded in her waitressing career to write for Network Ten's Good News Week, write and perform for The Comedy Hour on ABC radio and broadcast her weekly radio show Red Hot Go on Fox FM.

In 2009, she performed her first solo stand up show Am I Strange? At the 2009 Melbourne International Comedy Festival where she won The Age Critics Award for Best Australian Show. The show then transferred to Edinburgh.

Her follow-up Flying Solos, played the 2010 Melbourneand Edinburgh festivals, after which she moved to the UK.

However, she continues her career in her homeland, too, with one of the main parts in ABC's 2011 series, Laid.

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MICF: Celia Pacquola – All Talk

Note: This review is from 2018

Melbourne comedy festival review by Steve Bennett

From the outside, Celia Pacquola’s life is going great. She’s filling a sizeable theatre at the Melbourne comedy festival and starring in the acclaimed ABC sitcoms Rosehaven and Utopia.

Yet this frank and fearless show reveals that looks can be deceptive, for that confident woman on stage has been fighting depression and anxieties.

Such mental health concerns might be common ground for self-analytical comedians used to turning pain into art, but Pacquola is up there with the best. Although she’s dealing with weighty matters, she’s nimble-footed with them; the laughs flow so freely from her jauntily confessional anecdotes about being a slightly messed-up woman in her 30s, prone to making bad decisions under the influence of too much wine, that the underlying issues are addressed by stealth.

Her analogy for the human condition, of us all being a hive of bees in a person-shaped suit, is a memorable one, explaining both her own inner tumult she sometimes struggles to tame, and why everyone else is a mess of contradictions and conflicting impulses.

Every section resonates with relevance as she discusses the likes of the #metoo movement, the nefarious uses of technology. Not just Mark Zuckerberg, there’s also the matter of the sex tape she only recently realised she made in her past. And that’s not the biggest personal disclosure in this candid hour.

Without a scintilla of feeling ‘worthy’, Pacquola is doing sterling work in normalising matters sometimes considered taboo, stripping such issues of their oppressive baggage to make them just another fact of almost everyone’s life, ripe for the mocking.

This is the comedian at her ‘two glasses of vino’ best, loose enough to be indiscrete about her turbulent life, astutely self-aware but sharing intimacies with disarming wit.

She may issue a mock apology for touching on such dark and personal areas to those expecting the ‘nice girl from the ABC’ to talk Tasmanian infrastructure, but her openness, easy likability – and great jokes – should leave no one disappointed.

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Published: 6 Apr 2018


Past Shows

Edinburgh Fringe 2009

Celia Pacquola: Am I Strange

Edinburgh Fringe 2010

Celia Pacquola in Flying Solos

Edinburgh Fringe 2012

Celia Pacquola: Delayed


Janette Linden
Contact by email
22 Rathbone Street
Office: 020 7287 1112

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