Laura Davis: The Dog In The Ink

Note: This review is from 2012

Review by Steve Bennett

Former supermarket-measurer Laura Davis is so sweet she could probably cause diabetes, but her solo show – the first full run she has done at the Melbourne festival – proves too much of a stretch for a performer trying to make an asset of her insecurities.

‘Do you like me?’ she asks a couple of time during the show. ‘How much?’ Comedians usually hide such desperation for approval behind a mask of confidence, but here it’s made blatant.

Such lack of self-confidence is just one of the signs this is a rookie offering, along with the rather awkward audience interaction, her overplaying of the quirky card and the fact she clings to her thesis-like theme like a lifeboat. That central idea is a rather forced fusing of Freud’s psychological theories of empathy (‘it takes one to know one,’ as Davis précis it) and tales about her dog. Still, it means we get to have a play with the Rorschach inkblot tests, which don’t reveal much – including jokes – but provide a distraction.

Although it’s obviously scripted, there’s still a ‘oh and another thing…’ stream of consciousness feel to the show, but as she throws all her theories at the wall, Davis gets in a jumble sometimes and her train of thought isn’t entirely clear.

But although this show is very undercooked, Davis – so whimsical she has a second-favourite biscuit website – personally has things in her favour. She is, for all her pleas, innately likeable and there are some solid routines here, as well as some cheesy puns she gets the most out of.

The preamble about an awful gig in Perth is an entertaining yarn, while her stand-out routine about photocopying pictures of cats (!) shows how she can exploit her odd personality traits into workable material.

So, really, this is probably just a case of too much, too soon. A couple more years’ experience and material – and perhaps a steady directorial hand on the tiller from someone else – and this former Raw national finalist could have something more substantial.

Reviewed at the Melbourne Comedy Festival, April 2011

Review date: 9 Jan 2012
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

What do you think?

Live comedy picks

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.