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Review: Bisexual’s Lament at ACMI Gandal Lab

Review by Stephanie Lee


Starting with a chaotically funny, very 2000s PowerPoint moment, you truly would not expect this show to have such an emotional core. Lou Wall’s ‘The Bisexual’s Lament’ is a rollercoaster the whole way through - a ridiculously funny, hour of non-stop laughs with some hard truths woven in kind of rollercoaster. 


The technical design of the show is relatively simple with a well-timed PowerPoint accompanied at points by some fun backing tracks and lights. A favourite lighting state of mine of course was the bisexual lighting making its appearance.  


Although Lou Wall is known for her musical comedy, this show forefronts her standup genius. So many of her jokes seem to just get funnier as they sit, with the full weight of jokes taking a moment to sink in. The slow peeling back of layers was absolutely iconic in a musical number about a marketplace exchange gone classically tragic. Something I won’t spoil here but was definitely my highlight of the night.


The main conceit of the show is a list of things Wall finds funny that have arisen from tragedy. Things like memes of people hilariously being trapped in garages, Brittany Spears burning down her gym or friends eating something that looks like beef jerky (but really isn’t). The list format works particularly well in the quick rounds to music, which are a laugh a second with the pacy delivery Wall has nailed here. The show ranges from text exchanges and niche internet memes to family and breakups. Perhaps the most impressive thing is not that Wall has managed to fit it all into one hour but that it is seamlessly woven together. This also is a huge credit to director Zoë Coombs Marr. 


Wall’s stage presence is also particularly notable, as the show doesn’t shy away from tricky topics but manages to guide the audience through with care and gentleness. It feels like a privilege for us as an audience to be let into such personal struggles. Comedy and tragedy were balanced beautifully.  


Tragedy ultimately was the birthplace of this work and Wall has managed to craft her tough 2023 into some comedic gold. A reclamation of self here that is wildly funny, thoughtful, often relatable and touching somehow all at once. I highly recommend catching this one before the festival is over, it had me cackling from start to finish!


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