Lara Ricote: Little Tiny Wet Show (Baptism) | Melbourne International Comedy Festival review
review star review star review star review half star review blank star

Lara Ricote: Little Tiny Wet Show (Baptism)

Melbourne International Comedy Festival review

Lara Ricote did such a good job with her 2022 debut, GRL/LATNX/DEF, that she won the Edinburgh Comedy Award for best newcomer. So, having introduced herself and covered her main identity pointers – girlish, Mexican and deaf – where does she go for her sophomore show?

The answer is an quirky, ambitious hour with a unique way of exploring relationships, both romantic and the one between stand-up and audience. In this off-the-wall hour, they become one and the same. 

We are given a collective name, and Ricote explores whether she’d like to go steady with us. She demands that we make her laugh – this shouldn’t be a one-way street –and indulge her when her strongly-held opinions spin 180 degrees.

While cultivating our relationship, she contemplates her real-life one. It’s her first adult union, and one that – if all works well – will be her only one. But it’s hardly conventional. Her boyfriend upped sticks from his native Argentina to set up home with her in Amsterdam, yet she is barely there, touring the world instead. It raises the question of whether they need couples therapy while still in their mid-20s…

Visit Melbourne Melbourne International Comedy FestivvalMelbourne International Comedy Festiva news and reviews with Visit VictoriaThe moments in which this endearing comic uses her crowd to try to figure out what compatibility means in the real world blend surprisingly seamlessly with the more absurd interludes of which she’s fond. Her peculiar rendition of Let It Be is a bizarre joy, belted out with utter conviction, and there’s an incident involving a hidden prop that comes right out of left field.

These are just random, but other surreal moments are more in the spirit of the theme, such as the idea of adopting a bloodsucking tick to test her nurturing instincts after the planned acquisition of a rescue dog falls through, causing a disappointment she expresses in the most hilariously inappropriate way.

Such routines play into her screwball persona, building a sense that this wide-eyed innocent in a smocked baptism dress is trying to figure out this crazy world. The notion that she’s a lovable naif is amplified by her natural cartoon-mouse voice and willingness to contort her face in the name of physical comedy.

The grandiose conceit of the show demonstrates her willingness to take creative risks – not least of which is building elements that rely on suggestions shouted out from the darkness when she’s hard of hearing.

Not all her choices pay off in this slippery show, which is often deliberately ambiguous in its intent, but it’s not short of hilarious and uniquely inspired moments.

When it comes to break off our relationship after an hour – and in a very final way – she leaves some questions unanswered. But as we wonder what might have been, we can still hold on to plenty of moments of delight to remember her by.

Enjoy our reviews? Like us to do more? Please consider supporting our in-depth coverage of live comedy with a monthly or one-off ko-fi donation, if you can. The more you support us, the more we can cover! 

Review date: 11 Apr 2024
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Melbourne International Comedy Festival

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.