You would have to be a brave soul to date a comedian, knowing that one day your personal foibles could end up fodder for a stand-up routine.
Take the cop who went out with Kitty Flanagan for 18 months. The relationship may be over, but she hasn’t let him go completely, with said male person (aka, the pleeceman) now playing a key role in absentia in the 2015 Adelaide Fringe Ambassador’s new show.
But Seriously? is not all cop speak and stories, with Flanagan seguing smoothly and swiftly between dozens of unrelated topics, including penises on the internet, language used by GPs to reference intimate body parts, the wonder of the dishwasher, cat people versus dog people, B&Bs and old folks.
There’s more than a touch of the Grumpy Middle-Aged Woman in much of the material, especially when Flanagan turns her acid tongue to “mummy bloggers” and overly familiar young shop assistants. Audience members of a certain age will find themselves nodding their heads in agreement, yet her acerbic wit and hilarious delivery has cross-generational and cross-gender appeal, attracting raucous laughter on the Adelaide Fringe opening night and spontaneous applause that seemed to say “we hear you, sister!”.
Flanagan is at her funniest when delivering impressions, both vocal and physical – of the aforementioned solicitous retail staff, for example, and a very non-Psycho Hollywood shower scene.
The show culminates with a duet in which Flanagan’s musician sister Penny joins her on stage for a rendition of their comedy anthem “Middle Age Lady” (which it not as gender-exclusive as it sounds). Then suddenly the hour is over and you’re leaving the theatre with an aching face, wondering what the pleeceman would think of it all and if you’ll be able to bite your tongue next time your Granny asks you to pass the salt.
If you need a dose of laughter therapy, go see Kitty. Seriously.
PS: Dear Kitty, sorry to break it to you, but you can’t be just a top-half lesbian.
Kitty Flanagan is performing at the Royalty Theatre again from February 20-22 and March 13-15.
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