May 6, 2019 Theatre
Someone please make sure that Lauren Pattison is okay, because I’m pretty sure she didn’t take a single breath between words during her set on Saturday night.
The last time Pattison performed in New Zealand, her show was about a break-up. This time, she’s in love, her career’s going well, and she can do a push-up. It’s named Peachy. Sick of sad-girl comedy, she’s decided to write something a little more upbeat, and, God, does she stick to that.
It’s impressive how easily the narrative flows. It continues like a confessional monologue in which you don’t even realise how you ended up at the story that you’re currently in the middle of hearing. The stories flit from meeting a boy, to advice from a friend, to interactions with her working-class family (in particular her blokey dad), and her time abroad in Australia and New Zealand at last year’s comedy tour. Not ground-breaking stuff but it’s all very charming, constant laughter is not required, and at the end of a long day, how nice is that?
Some of the material didn’t quite work for me, perhaps stemming from the differences in class culture between the UK and New Zealand, and barrelling forward sometimes didn’t quite allow a joke to land, or give it room to land. Without many pauses, there was a slight tendency to preachiness, and inspirational life platitudes fall flat. The upside of barrelling forward, though, is that there isn’t much awkwardness involved – just the usual amount from having someone stand on stage for an hour by themselves – and not very many times you have to look at your friend with raised eyebrows, the unspoken, “oh, no, that was bad”. I think I only did it once.
Admittedly, I am smack dab in the middle of Pattison’s target demographic, but there was such a wide range of ages attending the show, I can confidently say you don’t need to be a twenty-something woman to enjoy it. A man in front of me in his 60s was perhaps laughing the loudest, and, if I’m honest, that really added a little something to my overall enjoyment.
And, also, it is really very nice to see a comedy show about how well their personal life is going. Even if that makes it less relatable.
Lauren Pattison is playing in Auckland at the Classic until May 11. Tickets here.