A woman who would ‘rather eat a Toblerone than have sex’, Fiona O’Loughlin captures the look of despair in the eyes of many mothers above a certain age. Listening to her rant about her giant Catholic family, Sudanese psychiatrist, thespian son and nervous breakdown brought about, in part, by Nicole Kidman, it was surely a matter of time before she would get on stage to laugh about it all. Her show is essentially is a collection of sometimes painful personal stories, a wonderful self mockery and dark sense of humour being revealed in the process.
A tragic air shrouds much of O’Loughlin’s material, yet it is a carefree tragedy; one plied with a few gin and tonics and made to enjoy itself. The performance also strikes of a form of self-administered therapy – and this is often when the laughs come hardest. On top of this a conversational Ozzie drawl makes her a good connector with the audience.
Yet the show often lacks momentum, and there is only a trickle of genuinely funny material. The performance falls squarely into the thoroughly ‘average’ pile, and while her anecdotes would make her a great focus of attention at dinner parties (or is that Barbecues?) standing up and entertaining for an hour is a different business altogether.