Since Diogenes first sat naked in a barrel in an Athenian street, eating an apple and bearing his spleen to bemused city folk, the job of a comic has been obvious: um, to be funny. There are no higher duties or courtesies to observe, no relevant protocols, no occupational health and safety guidelines. There is nothing but the terrifying job of making the people laugh. And as we all know people do it differently, humour is as diverse as we are, blah blah blah, a genius to a few is an idiot to many and vice versa amen.
My favourites are Jerry Sadowitz, Paul Foot, Simon Munnery. And I have things for Sarah Silverstein and Hannah Gadsby. But I admire anyone who gets the job done .... and I do love a laugh. And I love to see someone get it totally right. Like watching Brian Lara bat or Shane Warne bowl. Or Gillian Welch, you just gotta admire a job well done.
Which brings me to Zoe. And whatever 'it' is, Zoe has it (No time for a proper review just some thoughts). The basic conceit of this show Trigger Warning is that she's offended so many peeps that she needs a long list of disclaimers to get her material out, but she worries that even using the term Trigger is a Trigger. Yeah! This is my kind of horse. As some may not know, Zoe performs mainly as Dave, a Bogan rhapsody in denim whose gender is sketched by some excellent body clowning and wisps of facial hair that are half beard, half vegemite smear. Dave realising that avoiding triggers is impossible announces that the show will be a mime. An hour of it. Sounds shit? It's meant to. And it's hilarious cos Zoe Dave Dave Zoe is funny in its Intersex bones. There's about 15 minutes of mime, most of it meta mine, and it's all proper gold.
There is mine and fake mime and jokes about both. There is a parody of a QnA on comedy and gender (as Zoe) that is actually a QnA on comedy and gender. Endless jokes about fisting and MDMA in the 90s and more fisting and stuff. And getting lost in the mime. Deep in the mime! There's Dave and there's Zoe and this targeted wild energy that grabs you by the throat and leaves you dangling above your own life and our stupid divisions of gender and sexuality and what we consider funny. And laughing flat out.
Pro tip. ZoeDave deftly keeps the audience at distance by saying every few minutes 'this bloke / woman knows what I'm saying' to anyone who laughs. It's a good trick - you're me mate / fuck you at the same time.
Only a queer woman playing a bogan man could make some of the jokes from Dave ... like 'my idea of a condom is having a skinny chick on my cock while I'm fucking a fat one'; or 'I like my women like my coffee too hot to put your dick in'. Written down they seem tame and maybe they are but in our priggish times Zoe Coombes is a breath of fresh and queer Bogan air.
Incredibly in the Acacia Room at the Victoria Hotel, there were only thirty-odd people. Don't worry, Zoe won't be slummin it for long. She's a special and unmissable if you get the chance.