Jennifer Wong Laughable: The One Liner Show
by Melynda von Wayward
Reviewed on Sat, 05/04/2014 - 05:59am
Melynda von Wayward Total Reviews: 36
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Jennifer Wong Laughable: The One Liner Show
Comedy Review by Leonard Miller

What: Jennifer Wong Laughable: The One Liner Show
Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Where: Ladies‚?? Lounge, Forum Theatre
When: 27th March - 20th April
Written and Performed by Jennifer Wong.

Designed and built in the last days of pre-depression decadence, the Forum Theatre is always a joy to visit with its opulent fixtures and gilded ambience. Another happy hang-up from this era of excess are the architectural niceties included in the internal layout. Small nooks like the Gentlemen‚??s Smoking Room and the Ladies Lounge exist as small intimate retreats from the bustle and noise of the grander foyer areas. In the twenty-first century, however, this creates a number of ideal small venue spaces making Melbourne‚??s iconic Russell Street landmark perfect matched as one of the main hubs for our international comedy festival.

Using one of the cosiest of these spaces, Laughable seats around thirty people. A testament to Wong‚??s reputation, not one of these seats was empty. The show would have struggled to work in a bigger venue, however, as the intimacy provided by such a small area allowed Wong to engage in an honest and generous way with the entire audience. Her eye contact was real and possessed a kindness that made the work feel more like a comfortable conversation with a funny woman than an event.

The premise is simple. Wong goes about describing an imaginary day encountering random people. She picks people from the audience and uses the information they provide to create an average, slightly mundane chain of events that most of us can empathise with. Where her skill comes into its own is the quick and witty word play she finds in all these topics. Her mind is sharp and Wong has a well developed and acute sense of word play.

Woven seamlessly into this mainly improvised narrative, Wong also manages to deliver some autobiographical information. Sometimes a little under explained, the way she uses this to work Cantonese wordplay into a show primarily concerned with the English language is impressive.

Her manner is apologetic and she makes the observation that she is an introverted extrovert. A fine description as she uses her apparent lack of confidence to deliver real punch to the one-liners that zing with a knowing sure-handedness.

Laughable: The One Liner Show kept the audience laughing and the excitement she gives her delivery leave no dead spots; the forty-five minute running time literally flew. Despite this, there were moments when she struggled to find her place and seemed confused as to where she was heading. A stronger consideration of the through line of the narrative would sort this out and will come with time. This performer looks set to only get stronger.

3.5 Stars

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