Review | Susie McCabe’s charm gets big laughs from any audience

Susie McCabe | The Court Hotel | til Feb 25 | ★ ★ ★ ½

While it’s her first time touring outside the land of haggis, Scottish comedian Susie McCabe will have you believe she’s at-home in front of any kind of audience, perhaps save a mob of angry Brexiteers. She’s one of those blessedly confident comedians who won’t make you feel weird being part of a small crowd – an invaluable skill to have at Perth Fringe, where you’re 60-40 gonna find yourself watching a show with precisely three other people, two being the performer’s parents. She certainly had us all the way from wo to “get tae fuck”.

Enjoying the easterly on the Court’s Roof Deck venue – enough to dry out any performer’s pre-show sweaties – the modest audience lapped up McCabe’s endearing brand of family and self-deprecating comedy. The Scot fearlessly delved into lesbian divorce, biscuit fetishes and bed-buying with your parents, expertly rattling off stories using her thick Scottish accent to great effect – don’t we just love an accent?! The chuckles kept coming as McCabe took down absurd primary school fitness regimes and her God-fearing mother of the Mrs Bucket Lady-of-the-House variety. Each story was told with full-body demonstrations and well-timed hairy eyeballing.

The self-directed fat jokes were flowing. You could interpret these as a ‘get in before anyone else does’ strategy, or as a joyful embrace of unencumbered life-living. Or both, but I’ll take the latter. Who cares if you’re fat? Bodies are miraculous things whether you’re a rake or a mountain, and if you’re pug-shaped all the better because pugs are great. The only other thing I’ll say is that some of the jokes about weird Catholic ceremonies were lost on me, despite my years of education at a second-rate Catholic college and morbid general interest in organised religion. We’re pretty godless in ‘Straya so I guess it’s not surprising.

Ostensibly, McCabe seems well-suited to Australian audiences. We love big personalities, personal stories and scoffing at people who exercise on holidays (even though a gross number of us pack joggers and shame ourselves onto a treadmill at least once during a weekend getaway). The point is McCabe lives out our wildest anti-wellness fantasies, like eating two packets of TimTams in one sitting, a fantasy I’ve literally had since childhood but due to That [bloody] Sugar Film on Netflix I’ll sadly never fulfil. I expect we’ll see her at many more Fringe seasons to come.

I loved her at any rate, and I reckon you and your slightly homophobic mother will, too.

Susie McCabe will be yakking it up at The Court Hotel until Sunday 25th February. Tickets and more information available from fringeworld.com.au

Carmen Reilly


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