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The comedy night held monthly at Belconnen’s La De Da might be Canberra’s newest room, but it bustles with an energy so lively that few can compete with it. Entering the bar, you see the sun setting, Lake Ginninderra glistening, and a crowd packed with people ready to laugh. And laugh we did. Performing were some of Canberra’s best comedians, who expertly read the room and made all of us feel right at home.
The MC, Emma Holland, reeled us in and got us hooked on surrealist bits and convoluted stories, complete with a number of props. She somehow managed to make crowd work fun for everyone in the audience, despite how uncomfortable the man she asked about his menstrual cycle appeared to be. She set the tone for a night of comedy that felt fresh in all the best ways.
Josh Glass, the first act, has clearly mastered his awkward yet endearing stage persona. He talked about having a kid, but instead of boring stories about his child’s shenanigans, he shared with us the experience of his life changing unexpectedly, in a way that was original and bordered on absurdist. When he moved onto the mess that is Australian politics, it became clear that, while he finds the names of our political parties confusing, on stage he definitely knows what he is doing.
Following on from Glass was Bill Makin, who was a lot like the dude at every party who can’t help but share all of his opinions. However, unlike that dude, Makin is funny, and isn’t afraid to make fun of himself. It isn’t at every comedy night that you hear someone claiming that gymnastics isn’t a sport, or imagining what his Italian ancestors would act like showing up at a Scottish battle (you really had to be there). Makin’s set was a rollercoaster, but one that at no point went downhill.
The third act, Harris Stuckey, had the air of a man who has been doing this for a while. His set was polished to perfection, every word carefully considered. Just as importantly, it was incredibly relatable. Stuckey took insecurities we all share and turned them into comedic genius, stopping along the way to point out the idiocies of life.
The night finished on Frances McNair, who brought a youthful energy to the room as she stepped onto the stage, incorporating in her set not only bits about BDSM parties and nudist beaches, but also a hilarious, yet somehow beautiful, song about fuckboys on Tinder. Her routine was tied together masterfully and its end left the audience wanting more.
Thankfully, all the comedians featured are in shows during the upcoming Canberra Comedy Festival. And as for comedy at La De Da, it runs every month, so there are sure to be many more unforgettable nights.