Just before the official start, Smith advised that Worth It wasn’t going to be about money, as the MICF guide indicated. Instead of being that show from the Canadian’s brain, this would be “the show from her heart”.
I was looking forward to Smiths’ brain though, and it’s a touch disappointing that a comic of her experience couldn’t plan ahead to deliver the show promised. It’s just as well – unlike many others who bring shows in development to MICF – that Smith is a talented storyteller, and this was a consistently entertaining hour.
The occasional bit may seem somewhat routine to a seasoned MICF audience, and fans may detect some recycling of material. There was the odd segment which didn’t seem to fit in anywhere, which suggested that Smiths’ heart was still a bit undecided about which way to take the show.
Given Smith’s background, her shows often deal in lesbian stereotypes, explorations of which earned good laughs. Especially successful was a piece on being mistaken for straight in Tasmania. Smith wasn’t afraid to put her insecurities up for discussion, and she invited some in the crowd to share their greatest fears.
A multi-threaded story on hers – pit-bull dogs – had detours into social awkwardness and how people misuse the term, how her depression meant that she didn’t get `Escape Rooms’, and wanting to be `normal’. Much of this material delighted the room. Certainly Smith deserves credit for managing some awareness-raising about mental health whilst not forgetting this is a comedy festival.
It might take a few shows, but given Smith’s track record, it’s reasonable to expect the show to tighten up. As it was, her good-sized crowd laughed regularly and enthusiastically. That might help the performer overcome at least one insecurity, as yes Deanne, Melbourne thinks you’re Worth It.
DeAnne Smith: Worth It
The Mykonos Room – The Greek Centre, corner Russell and Exhibition Streets, Melbourne
Performance: Saturday 31 March 2018 – 7.00pm
Season continues to 22 April 2018
Information and Bookings: www.comedyfestival.com.au
Image: DeAnne Smith (supplied)
Review: Jason Whyte