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Review: Every Single Thing in My Whole Entire Life, Zoë Coombs Marr at The Grand Electric

Review by Kate Gaul


Zoë Coombs Marr received a Melbourne Comedy Festival award in 2016 for “Trigger Warning,” the show that presented her in meta-drag as a retrograde male comic named “Dave” to call-out the disparate standards for men in comedy. We thank her from making intersectional feminism funny!  Her 2018 show presented Marr as herself while still playfully poking fun at the conventions of stand-up and specials themselves, “Bossy Bottom”, which you can catch on ABC iView – absolute comic gold! Zoë is also the creator, writer, and host of “Queerstralia” – a must see into the untold LGBTQIA+ history of Australia (also on ABC iView). And there’s lots, lots more...


Zoe Coombs Marr has always included a lot of personal material in her work and “Every Single Thing in My Whole Entire Life” takes autobiographical content to the next level. Its’s implausibly ridiculous as comedy meets life’s challenges, meets planning, and then meets us via a projected Miro Board and then Excel Spreadsheet of a life’s worth of events. Knowing chuckles or groans from audience depending on digital competency.  Coombs Marr tells us that she decided to divide her life up into seven-year increments to catalogue her jokes and battle depression and she’s ready to tell us about every single thing in her whole entire life. Over the course of the hour, we kind of get to suggest where the banter might go – that we maybe wandering freely through someone’s past - her long-term relationship, street pizza, sandwiches, a frog in a toilet, a random make-out session at the Imperial, an uncontrolled pee in Adelaide. I got the impression that some of the material may be different every show as Zoë opens up about her life –and be warned – it’s not all roses.  Some of it is dark and details of suicide ideation might not be everyone’s idea of a great night out.  But she’s still here and we are laughing, and she is laughing with us. The gender identity content is more palatable if well-worn and jokes about comedian and ADHD draw snorts and hoots.


Of course, no one sitting past the front row can actually read the spreadsheet, but we love the idea. If the show is about anything it could be memory – what do we recall of our lives, how to we recall it? What I love about Coombs Marr is that amongst all the absurdities there is a genuinely brainy thread coursing through the work.  The way she wraps shows is effortless and classic. “Every Single Thing in My Whole Entire Life” feels shambolic and it is but we go somewhere and love that someone else can make sense of their world. “Mindmelting” and “Meta” as all the reviews say. This show will be in Edinburgh this year – go see it!


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