It’s spooky when life imitates art. And when it’s your own life at a particular moment in time (it’s complicated) and the art is the stand-up you’ve gone to see at that particular moment in time it’s quite mind blowing. So when Jen Carnovale started going on about a ridiculous old pervy Australian bloke she had encountered I had to laugh out loud. Especially as the bloke fitting that description (from my own particular nightmare, it’s complicated) was sitting along from me – I don’t think he was laughing at that bit…
Jen is one of the many Australian comedians at the Fringe this year. And while she gives a quick nod to the usual stereotypes that land has given us the material is more orientated to the personal. Her main job is working with troubled teens but she’s got a stack of mundane former jobs (including handing out sweets to kids hence the perv story) which she wrings every ounce of comic potential from.
Jen is playing the (big) Gothic Room at the Free Sisters and it was packed out the day I was there – and pleased to say she handled the crowd with ease. She’s got a good confident style which starts off sweetly low-key in a routine and builds to a neurotic crescendo which she just about manages to rein in. A bit like Victor Meldrew trapped inside a young Olivia Newton-John’s body! I hope that doesn’t sound too pervy but then I’m sure Jen can handle it! Good on ya, girl!
(Review for 5 Aug)