Words Chelsea Pickens
To be honest I find comedians a bit hard to watch. It’s not that I don’t enjoy comedy, I really do, and in the comfort of my own home and the detached context of television, I’ll sit back and lap it up. But live comedy I find difficult because it looks like the absolute most terrifying job in the world – standing on an illuminated stage, vulnerable as hell, while an audience in front of you stares and deems you funny or not.
I’m anxious just watching them, with my empathy gland swelling out of control ready for if it all to fall flat. And so I attend stocked with pity, ‘you’re doing great please don’t leave the stage and cry’ laughs ready to go, and a beer to ease me through the cringe.
I arrived with these laughs (and that beer) to the intimate venue to watch Lana Walters’ debut solo show at the Q theatre. Lana’s confident but down to earth, giggly demeanour was at once relaxing, she could hold her own, the laughs would come, my pity laughs could chill in the back pocket.
That one guy in the audience who laughed really loud at everything (there’s always one) also took the burden off, so I found myself ready to enjoy. And I did enjoy. Lana was immediately likable, your average girl with average girl problems, she was relatable and accessible.
A lot of her set was based around being a single woman, a popular topic for women comedians, she striked me as an Amy Schumer/Mindy Kaling mix – both self-deprecating yet empowering in her confident retelling of tinder tales and ex boyfriends gone wrong.
The highlight was absolutely when she paused for a sip of wine and downed the whole cup – a tidy kiwi party trick that not surprisingly pleased the audience ‘not just some of it, all of it’ styles.
And that was the beauty of Lana’s set, she undoubtedly appealed to kiwi sensibilities of poking fun at oneself and acting a bit rough around the edges.
It was really her demeanour that made the comedy, and I found her casual, off the cuff, giggly remarks more humorous and enjoyable than the more worked on, laboured punchlines, which at times did fall a bit flat. But Lana took it in her stride and laughed at herself anyway which was really nice to see and made me less of a guilty audience member.
She was having fun, so we could have fun – so fun was had by all. Certainly a show to be enjoyed by fellow single ladies and their besties, where we can all down our wine together.