Roisin Conaty: Hero, Warrior, Fireman, Liar

Roisin Conaty from the back of the room8:15, 31 March, Cloak Room, Melbourne Town Hall

Zoe Lyons went over time despite the giant green watch offending her wrist. So some of us missed the start of Roisin Conaty's show until there was an appropriate set of applause for us to sneak in up the back.

When we did finally enter there was a woman on stage in a terrible frock and even more outrageous wig spouting some craziness on stage. I wish I saw the set-up because the audience was really into the insanity. By the time we sat down, this character had gone into a terrible song about relationships being like Monopoly. It was a pretty funny parody of the pretentious art-cabaret performers who are so sincere in their literal "poetry" they fail to notice their own irrelevance.

That song was her finale. She left the stage and we were only 5 minutes into the show. For a moment I thought we were going to get another character but Conaty entered as herself and explained to the audience that she loves to scare them with that character. That's a bit of a shame. I would have applauded the commitment to the insanity.

Still, the next 40 or so minutes had some great moments. She involves the audience and makes the show more of a one-sided conversation with the occasionally required affirmation from the audience.

While the laughs were decent, it was hard to not compare Conaty's self-effacement and tales of living in a kind of social limbo with Zoe Lyons's similarly themed material. It's one of the disadvantages of the back-to-back comedy shows.

In the comparison, Conaty comes off second-best. Her bubbly energy might work in isolation or really shine in a 15 minute spot, but after half an hour it starts to feel more and more unpolished. Fumbling through a song from which the show's title comes, Conaty ended the whole affair abruptly and disingenuously apologised for not having done the song since last August; The audience left, covered in the anticlimactic slop of confused disappointment.

I wrote this review on my MacBook Pro laptop, while at work the next morning.