Celia Pacquola (3 stars)

This article is from 2009.

Celia Pacquola

Laughing it up with a messed-up stand-up

Am I Strange? asks Australian comic Celia Pacquola at the top of her debut Fringe show which has done wonders at festivals back home. ‘Not especially’ might come the reply. Delightful, fragile and needy are more like the traits wrapped up into her stage persona as she recounts the tale of the bloke who screwed her over by messing around with an untold number of females. The central gimmick is for Pacquola to click her fingers, signalling a darkening of the room as she allows us entry into the workings of her increasingly fraught mind.

Eventually, this becomes a little distracting and actually spoils any rhythm which Pacquola has developed, but there are still enough moments of penetrating joy and poetic anxiety to leave you fulfilled at the climax. Whatever becomes of her and her comedy career, Celia Pacquola joins the likes of David O’Doherty, Jason Cook and Josie Long as a band of stand-ups people want to reward, not just with applause, but with a reassuring hug.

Gilded Balloon Teviot, 622 6552, until 31 Aug (not 17), 7.45pm, £8.50–£9.50 (£7.50–£8.50).

Celia Pacquola in Am I Strange?

  • 3 stars

Winner - Critics Award 2009 Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Best Comedy 2008 Melbourne Fringe. Celia wondered if her mind was strange. Then she was cheated on. This didn't help. 'Jaw-achingly funny' (Age). www.adamsmanagement.com.au

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