Review: Celia Pacquola

5 April 2016

Following critical success with appearances on hit ABC TV shows Utopia and The Beautiful Lie, Celia Pacquola has returned to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival with her eccentric new show.

Over the past ten years Pacquola has established herself as a regular on the comedy circuit in the UK and Australia, and after a repeat of her 2013 show last year, The Looking Glass marks her return with rippling laughter through the audience, her wit and simple charm infectious.

Pacquola takes the audience through an assortment stories, mainly about her life as a 33-year-old, semi-alcoholic cheese eater who does not even bother slicing it and how she is totally fine with that (no, really, she is).

The 55 minute show moves quite quickly, flitting between different stories from different stages in her life that come together to form a humorous narrative.

Due to the limited run at the festival, there is a sense of pressure from the crammed crowd. The responses to Celia are briefly shaky, but she quickly finds a groove thanks to her knack in judging the audience and her jokes accordingly.

The show serves as the perfect introduction for someone who has never seen Pacquola’s stand up before. Her comedy gives a sense of vulnerability without pity, her self-deprecating humour that lets you laugh along rather than at it.

While more attentive fans might recognise some of the material from her various comedy club and television appearances, the experience of the full show in a packed venue adds a new level of excitement and energy to her work.

Following the huge popularity of original run, two extra shows of The Looking Glass have been added on Monday 11 and Wednesday 13 April at the Comedy Theatre.

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