Review: Celia Pacquola is an Absolute Delight13 April 2018
If you are going to see one show at this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival, make it Celia Pacquola’s All Talk. Clever, warm and honest, Pacquola effortlessly intertwines hilarious personal anecdotes including her reaction to being flashed by a man while out with a friend, with serious undertones of her grappling with her unbalanced mental health. The latter is particularly poignant, as Pacquola has publicly climbed the ladder of success and fame over the last couple of years, for which she notes the majority of the audience would have come expecting “that nice girl from the ABC”. Her classical stand up is both self-deprecatingly raw with fantastic feminist undertones and extremely loveable, making you feel more like a friend than an audience member avoiding eye contact.
Pacquola’s drunken affairs were amongst the stand out of the show remarking, “two beer Celia is a confident comedy queen, [but] six beer Celia is a whole different proposition”. Her bid to woo her now boyfriend by politely asking for a kiss whilst completely intoxicated was intimately received by the full Wednesday crowd. Her execution is masterful, with additions of a potential sex tape and the contribution of rappers to female empowerment, staying with you long after the show’s end. Pacquola uses what she knows best—writing on her own life, decisions and perspectives on the world and as a result, All Talk is deeply affecting and strong.
Pacquola has become a force of nature, donning acting, writing and performing roles across Australia and the United Kingdom. Not only does she star in ABC’s Utopia, as well as Rosewood, which she co-wrote with fellow comedian Luke McGregor, she spent 2015 as a support act for Last Week Tonight megastar John Oliver. All Talk brings Pacquola back to her stand up roots, joining notable Am I Strange?,which saw her win the Age Critics’ Award in 2009. Pacquola is clearly all talk but also has some serious walk, and the demand for her show causing additional runs proves just how talented she is.
All Talk is playing at the Comedy Theatre until the 17th of April. To book tickets, visit www.comedyfestival.com.au