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Review: Judith Lucy Vs Men at the Arts Centre Melbourne

By Yona Eagle

After a years absence, The Melbourne International Comedy Festival has been blessed with a new show by Judith Lucy. This is Judith’s first solo show since 2015 which went on to win the Helpmann award for Best Comedy.

Judith is dressed in a black velvet beaded gown (though without killer heels this time!) and looks fantastic. She tells us she is yet again single due to her poor choice in partners and invites the audience, represented by a select few to whom she has given yes/no paddles to cast their vote with, to help her decide if she should give up on a relationship with a man indefinitely.

In 2015, Judith decreed in her docudrama that ‘the last thing that she wanted to do is make a show that alienates men,’ however, judging by the predominately female crowd at the Arts Centre Playhouse, she may have (accidentally or not) done just that. Judith wastes no time in interacting with her vocal audience and asks them to lift their hands in the air if they are neither a women nor someone who identifies with the LGBTQ community. Up in the dress circle the hands in the air number in the single digits and judging by the laughter drifting up from the stalls, downstairs was no different.

So it may be Judith Lucy v. men but she has certainly made herself a pin-up girl for the sexuality of women of all ages.

After spotting a 23 young old ‘youngster’ in the audience Judith, tells us she has been performing 8 years longer than she has been on this earth. This explains the demographics of the audience – grandmothers, mothers, daughters often from the same family all at her show together. Some of these women have grown up alongside Judith and if they haven’t experienced the identical situations Judith has regaled us with, they certainly have a deep empathy for her.

Judith’s history both of platonic and sexual relationships with men is peppered with stories of sex, dry vaginas and other issues that only recently were still taboo on stage.If we were listening to a male comedian we may have thought of him as a stud, yet Judith has to justify that a woman in the same circumstance isn’t a slut.

She does this in a self-deprecating manner with her distinctive raspy voice, that only on reflection and listening to the lyrics of the song that forms the end of the show*…

You gotta be resilient you gotta be confident you gotta be dominant you gotta be brilliant..better than them…

Do I realise that it is not just Judith Lucy vs Men, it is all women versus Men and Judith is empowering us all NOT to live our lives through men. What is OK for men is just as OK for women.

Good on you Judith hope we don’t have to wait another 2 years for the next instalment.

* The Policy by Glitoris

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All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.


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