80s Nostalgia Sad Hour at the Factory Theatre
Looking for an hour of musical comedy sure to have you flash dancing like you were at a jazzy funeral?
Jacinta Gregory is a musical commedienne who is obsessed with all things 80s - cyndi lauper, dirty dancing, the Berlin wall: Join her for an hour of synth-filled songs about love, bisexuality, mental illness and John Hughes. Get ready to laugh, dance and relate
With the help of friends and a live band, Jacinta presents a musical comedy show filled with John Hughes nostalgia and jokes about mental illness. It will be bizarre, there will be legwarmers and by GOD will there be synths. Girls just want to have fun! THAT'S ALL THEY REALLY WANT.
Carly spoke with Jacinta about what it takes to put together a show like this and her hope for the future. Read below:
So a big one to start off with - In the past you have created both musicals and routines that fall under stand up comedy. What is the driving inspiration for you to create these works and what is your favourite sort of set to put together? What is your process in a new show’s construction – do you start with the jokes or the music or a theme, etc and where does it go from there?
My driving force for creating these works is more than anything – catharsis. For myself, for the audience. A lot of the content I write is about the current state of the world, about being a woman, and in saying that my favourite kind of set to put together is one that is one that punches up – about men in power, about people in power, through the vehicle of a song or a joke that is very very silly. I love when there’s an underlying point to a silly joke that not-cismen enjoy in particular.
My creative process usually starts oddly enough with a song. I’ll write a silly song idea I’ve had and consider whether or not that can be branched out to become a theme, be it the genre or the content of the song itself. That is then a jumping off point from which more songs can be written, and while the theme vaguely ties every thing together, at the end of the day all of the shows are mainly autobiographical shows – perhaps this time with more synths.
This show has been inspired by your love of all things 80s. What is it about this era that you love so and how much has it played into the way you have gone about this show? Do audiences need to come into the show with an 80s knowledge bank or is this going to be a good laugh for everyone?
(I giggled at this question) the audience don’t need to come into the show with an 80s knowledge bank whatsoever. While I make vague reference to 1980s pop culture at various points, the music itself which is mostly 80s in style has been the most enjoyable aspect to do. I had this whole conception when I was little that I should’ve grown up in the 80s – its film, its fashion, it’s makeup it’s hair, I love it all so much, while I know now that was an idealized version, and that’s what I talk about in the show also – idealizing certain eras in the past. But at the end of the day while there is a heavy 80s aesthetic and mood – the show is about issues that plague us today, it’s about now.
The show promises to have everything from John Hughes nostalgia and legwarmers to jokes about mental illness – how do you feel you’ve managed to capture the 80s and still make it relevant to a 2019 audience? Why should audiences make sure not to miss this show?
The absolute juxtaposition between leg warmers is mental illness is a dichotomy I’ve heavy enjoyed playing with in this show. This is what I talk about at a few different points, it’s impossible to capture any kind of era fully – what I will be presenting is our present-day’s idealized version of the 1980s. It is relevant because it is how we view it, fun and silly and idealized, and that’s why we love it so much.
If people enjoy musicals, if people like 80s music but more than anything – if people find jokes about loneliness, politics, and snails enjoyable I think they’ll really enjoy it. The main point of difference I can offer to people looking for something to watch in the Sydney Comedy Festival is, if I do say so myself, not only a good comedy show, but a really good hour of music also. The band that is playing with me is absolutely incredible, and there are definitely more than a few bangers.
Is there a key point or topic that you discuss through your show that you hope people will leave talking about? Or a song that you hope that they leave singing along to?
The thing I come back to the most out of everything is coping with depression, and I really hope that people leave with somewhat of a greater understanding (as much understanding as a comedy show provides) and that anyone struggling with a mental illness walks away feeling a little less alone.
There’s one particular song that is about my being raised very catholic I love, it’s a hymn that makes fun of a liberal politicians view of Christianity and if I do say so myself, it is a banger. I think this is one people will like a lot considering who our current prime minister is.
What would be your ultimate comedy bucket list dream? Is it to perform somewhere in particular or with a fellow comedian or to create a full length musical comedy, etc? The options seem endless!
Oh wow yeah I was asked this recently and I love putting on full scale musical productions, but I also really love putting on solo works. A bucket list dream would be probably to perform with Tim Minchin at some point who is so genuinely excellent, and obviously performing somewhere like the Opera House would be nuts, but I’d settle for being able to live off this artform. As soon as I get there I think I can die happy.
RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS:
Favourite production you have ever seen?
Oooft every is really really hard, I’m not sure about favourite but Book Of Mormon is my favourite musical and I saw it maybe three times – a perfect mix of irreverent comedy and musical tropes is a goal. But I recently saw noodle girls at the Sydney Comedy festival and that was so well put together and impressive, so I’d keep an eye on what they do next also
You’re getting on a plane tomorrow and you can go anywhere in the world, where do you go?
France. I have a friend in clown school there
Dream role to perform?
Damn I’m not sure – maybe the musical spot on Saturday Night Live
Plays or musicals?
A hobby you have beyond the theatre?
I’m taking hip-hop dance classes at the moment
What’s next for you after this show?
Have a big old rest and then continue to work on Holt! The musical and get that off the ground again, continue to do open mics and release some of my songs digitally.
80s Nostalgia Sad Hour plays at the Sydney Comedy Festival on May 4th and 5th.
Tickets are available here