Laura Davis: 'Stand-up is an exhaustively personal job'

This article is from 2019

Laura Davis: 'Stand-up is an exhaustively personal job'

credit: James Penlidis

The acclaimed Australian stand-up discusses truth, heroism and fears ahead of her new Fringe comedy hour

Australian stand-up Laura Davis has become a distinctive voice among the cluttered field of Fringe comedy. Last year she performed most of her show under a white sheet. As she tackles themes such as truth and heroism, what has she got in store this time around for her growing legion of admirers?

What's the most heroic thing you've ever done?
A lot of the times I'm late to where I'm going because I have to stop to move every snail I pass off of the path to safety.

What's the most heroic thing you've seen or hear someone else do this year?
Big fan of the kid in Australia who egged a pro-Nazi senator.

Does the word 'truth' have any meaning anymore?
I don't think so, but I'm not sure the meaning it used to have was true either. Truth is as elusive as ever, we just have the technology to vocalise different perspectives in a far greater capacity than we ever have before. I think it's not so much that truth has lost meaning, so much as we're realising just how pointless it is to pin it down. Lots of things that used to be true are no longer true. And things that would never have been true are now written as fact. There's only time and change, universal human experiences, and as much science as we have.

What makes you fearful?
Wilful ignorance, greed and cowardice.

Last year you performed most of the show under a ghostly sheet. Do you feel the reason you did that got across to the audience and critics?
I hope so. I love performing that show because everybody has a different reaction to it. The sheet makes it very personal, as it's literally a blank sheet for people to project onto you what they want. It's more of a puppet than a costume, I think. Stand-up is an exhaustively personal job. This felt like a way to take myself out of the frame for a little while. It also made a broader audience willing to come see the show, as people walk in with fewer preconceived assumptions for a ghost, than if it was my human female face on the poster. If that's what the critics saw, then they're correct.

What would constitute a successful August for you?
In Edinburgh I like to try and focus on what a lovely city I'm getting to live in with all my friends for a whole month. I like to eat baked potatoes in The Meadows and do wild midnight gigs with my friends. My husband is a comedian too, and August is sometimes the longest time we're ever in the same city. If I don't forget that for a month and stop worrying about money and reviews and where I am on 'the ladder', then I would consider that a successful August.

Laura Davis: Better Dead Than a Coward, Heroes @ Bob's BlundaBus, 1–25 Aug, 9.10pm, £5 in advance or donations at the venue.

Laura Davis: Better Dead Than a Coward

  • 3 stars

Laura Davis Dark, bold and razor sharp, Australian comedian Laura Davis is internationally critically acclaimed as one of the most unique comedic voices around. Unconventional, cathartic and exhilaratingly hilarious, this is her brand new hour. 'A different kind of provocative… smart, challenging, ambitious, playful and…