Review By Flora Norton
Having never heard of Jess Fuchs or Thalia-Joan before I didn’t know what to expect walking into LongPlay bar in Fitzroy for their show ‘Tell Me You’re Joking’ but I certainly didn’t expect it to be one of my favourite shows at this years’ festival. Their warm and conversational style of comedy, coupled with the bare stage and small audience made the show feel intimate and comfortable, as well as funny and genuinely interesting.
Thalia-Joan kicked off the show with her 30-minute stand-up set ‘Ex-pectations’ about her road trip down from NSW to Victoria, making fun of some Australia’s bizarre, yet endearing quirks and managing to find the humour in some darker themes as well. Thalia-Joan’s set also touches on her own life and struggles in a way that is at some moments, funny and self-deprecating, and at others, raw and honest. Focusing on the theme of expectations, and when they are not met, she ends by giving the audience 5 pieces of worldly advice that straddle the line between genuine and sarcastic, peppering in some hilarious one-liners. Friendly and awkward, Thalia-Joan’s personality shines through her set making it feel like a conversation with a friend, rather than a performance and her interactions with the audience are genuine, uncomfortable, and hilarious.
Jess Fuchs was exuding confidence in her set ‘Dream Bat Mitzvah’ and had the audience in her pocket from the moment she stepped up to the microphone. Her complete command of the stage instilled trust in the audience, while her happy and cheeky persona gave me the impression that she could have said anything, and we’d still have been laughing along hysterically. Fuchs talked candidly about her Jewish upbringing and the ways in which it has and hasn’t influenced her life, and her anecdotes were ridiculous, well-timed, and devilishly entertaining. Her set ended with a Q&A and while Fuchs, it turned out, is also funny when giving spontaneous responses, the conversation that ensued took on a whole new tone and was personal, genuine, and educational.
As a comedy obsessive, I always love discovering new comedians and Thalia-Joan and Jess Fuchs are certainly two to watch out for. Engaging, likeable, and clever, both women bring their own unique style to the genre and their sets feel honest, refreshing, and unscripted. With three shows left for their set this year, do yourselves a favour and head down to Fitzroy for a drink and a hearty guffaw.s