InReview InReview

Support independent journalism

Adelaide Fringe

Judith Lucy on life, death ... and moths

Adelaide Fringe

The title of Judith Lucy’s Adelaide Fringe show, Ask No Questions of the Moth, hints at some seriously esoteric, philosophical, perhaps even spiritual subject matter.

Comments Print article

The comedian scoffs at such an outrageous suggestion.

“I really just wanted people to think that I was a lot deeper than I actually am and come up with a title that was both mystifying and ridiculous at the same time,” she tells InDaily in her typically droll style.

“I typed ‘death’ and ‘impermanence’ into Google and that was what came up.”

Having watched Judith Lucy’s Spiritual Journey on ABC TV, and being aware she practices both meditation and yoga, you might suspect there is a little more to it than that. The line actually comes from a poem by a 12th-century Sufi poet: I have no news of my coming or passing away – the whole thing happened quicker than a breath; ask no questions of the moth.

And if there is a theme to what Lucy describes as “a ridiculous comedy show” – but one which won her the 2015 Helpmann Award for Comedy – it is death and change.

Ask No Questions of the Moth was created after she suffered the year from hell in 2014, when she lost her brother, Niall Lucy, to lung cancer and also began going through early menopause.

While acknowledging that she’s been “exploiting my personal tragedy for cash for years now”, the comedian says she doesn’t directly address Niall’s death in the show, but rather the events that occurred around it. Like when she stayed with a friend in Byron Bay, went on a bender and ended up eating raw opium off the plant, for example.

“And I know menopause doesn’t scream fun and sexy, but I do dance to Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get it On’ while talking about menopause symptoms, so I’m trying to turn that around.”

Other topics touched on include the filming for her 2015 ABC television series Judith Lucy is All Woman, memes, “dick pics” and the fact that people have taken to drinking out of jars … “I don’t know what ever happened to glasses”.

“I crap on about pretty much everything,” she says.

“Anything that’s happened to me that I can spin into a joke you’ll be hearing about … including the fact I did an Ayurvedic detox last year where I had ghee injected into my anus …

“It was not a pleasant experience.”

Despite acknowledging that she makes a very “hot, sad moth”, Lucy advises she won’t be wearing this costume for her stand-up shows. “I’m sorry for everyone who is attracted to that shot but they will simply have to use their imagination.”

Audiences can also expect a few cougar jokes. While single life has provided fodder for Lucy’s stand-up routines in the past, these days she is in a relationship – with a younger man whom she met at the video store.

The couple had only recently got together before her last show at the Adelaide Fringe, with fellow comedian Denise Scott in 2013. When she mentioned it during the performance, she was slightly perturbed that the audience applauded.

“I’d been single for about six years so people did respond a bit like I had just come out of a coma.”

This will be the first time Lucy has been back on the stage here since then. Ask No Questions of the Moth premiered not long after last year’s Fringe and has been touring the country to sold-out audiences and positive reviews, with Adelaide one of the last places on the tour schedule.

“The good news for Adelaide is that it’s a lot less shit now … by the time I get to Adelaide it’s all going to be spun comedy gold.”

So after her annus horribilis, how are things looking these days for Lucy?

“It’s bad news for my comedy, but apart from nursing a bit of a hangover as we speak, life is pretty good right now.”

Judith Lucy’s Ask No Questions of the Moth will be presented at Her Majesty’s Theatre on March 12 and 13, with two performances each day.

Make a comment View comment guidelines

Support local arts journalism

Your support will help us continue the important work of InReview in publishing free professional journalism that celebrates, interrogates and amplifies arts and culture in South Australia.

Donate Here


Show comments Hide comments
Will my comment be published? Read the guidelines.

. You are free to republish the text and graphics contained in this article online and in print, on the condition that you follow our republishing guidelines.

You must attribute the author and note prominently that the article was originally published by InReview.  You must also inlude a link to InReview. Please note that images are not generally included in this creative commons licence as in most cases we are not the copyright owner. However, if the image has an InReview photographer credit or is marked as “supplied”, you are free to republish it with the appropriate credits.

We recommend you set the canonical link of this content to to insure that your SEO is not penalised.

Copied to Clipboard

More Adelaide Fringe stories

Loading next article