Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Melbourne Comedy Festival review: CORINNE GRANT - HAVE MY STUFF

Saturday, April 14, 2007 

Cheerily meeting patrons at the door, Grant's genuine warmth never leaves her throughout the show. Most will know her from The Glasshouse and her improvisational skills there worked wonders; disarmingly friendly yet able to pull off fantastically acerbic wit - essentially, a fantastic dinner party guest. Have My Stuff however sees Grant addressing her own history, foibles, making cultural commentary and bonding with the audience at every opportunity. These opportunities come thick and fast given her subject matter; hoarding, politics, and the politics of hoarding, and work well. Never aiming for pant-wetting levels of hilarity, Grant is more concerned with connecting with her audience while getting them to laugh at themselves; "Because I really like attention and I thought this would be a good way of getting it", she states as her reason for doing stand up. What she does with our attention is take us through a well-crafted and engaging confessional. Her cultural targets and jokes are soft and pat like butter, though getting all Quantock on us (like you know she could if she wanted to) would have been a spike in the vibe, and Grant prefers to keep it chatty rather than caustic (there, she warns "adult themes" however).

Her distinctive mannerisms, spontaneity and skill at enticing confessions from a willing crowd are unexpectedly endearing and wholly effective. Drawing in several tenuous personal and political threads (which aren't quite as effective on their own but give the show greater depth than expected), does allow Grant to bring out her Glasshouse side, but with no foil, there is little opportunity for those pithy improvised observations she's so good at doing. Still, after being in her company for an hour, there is no faulting that warm glow. And hey, who doesn't love free stuff?

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