Ange Lavoipierre: Final Form | Melbourne International Comedy Festival review
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Ange Lavoipierre: Final Form

Melbourne International Comedy Festival review

Ange Lavoipierre has attempted something a little more ambitious and theatrical than the norm with her Melbourne debut. That it doesn’t quite come off is a shame, but better to fail in style than fail for lack of application.

She’s undoubtedly put considerable thought into the structure of the show, which is based on the notion we all project different aspects of our personality depending on who we are interactions with.  

We’re different at work, with family, with lovers, with friends. The same as how Lavoipierre appears cool and together, in full control of herself and the room, in her comedy. Though from her stories, she’s not always so confident.

Lavoipierre’s day job is journalism, and she’s done her research here, having been inspired by late academic Erving Goffman’s groundbreaking writing on the topic. Yep, it’s yet another comedy show about  dramaturgical sociology and the notion of context collapse. That final concept is what happens when all the different audiences for your personality collapse into one – an eventuality that terrifies Lavoipierre.

So after this TED-style talk, and  telling us a bit about her background, from her mum’s cutesy country sayings to prodigious MDMA use in the past, she starts to explore how she projects herself to her father, to her co-workers and to her ex-boyfriend.

This is where the show gets more interesting - but less funny, primarily since it rests on the repetition of a couple of scenarios but with different emphasis. Lavoipierre uses audience participation and simple sound and lighting design well, but that this sizeable section is necessarily circular becomes its downfall. Lavoipierre is hoisted by her own well-constructed premise.

Though the central story is eye-opening, at least the first time of hearing, there are also not enough jokes, and she shoehorns in her other talent for cello in a very clunky way. 

But she’s a smart operator who brings her monologue to a satisfying conclusion while delivering the show with a mischievous charisma behind even the driest of set-ups. She could yet prove an intriguing presence on the festival circuit.

Review date: 17 Apr 2019
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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