In Tig Notaro’s epic 2013 Live at Largo set, Notaro drew from a world of extensive pain (the death of her mother, a near-death experience with an infection, a diagnosis of breast cancer) to deliver one of the world’s most impactful sets in recent memory. Laura Lexx takes a different tack, finding comedy in the everyday, the cheery, the lovely. While audience members don’t demand comedians/performers go through hardships, there is an old adage which says that one needs to mine pain to get to real depths. Is this simple privilege speaking, or is there philosophical territory to explore about why we think people demand to see pain in order to empathise.
Lexx looks at documentaries – particularly nature documentaries, and particularly about animal sexuality – as clearly containing metaphor for human behaviour, which of course they do, and it would be interesting to mine how animals do – or do not – look for drama in their own lives. If they can do without it, why can’t we? Her work on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) interrupts this lovely, drama-free life, as many medical conditions do, and Lexx demonstrates that even a non-life-threatening condition can provide the drama which facilitates real comedy. (BL)
LAURA LEXX: LOVELY, 11-17, 19-30 August, Underbelly Med Quad. Venue is wheelchair accessible.
On Laura Lexx:
On Tig Notaro’s Cancer Set:
On Kazuko Hohki’s Incontinental