If there’s a show not to miss in this year’s Festival, it has to be this delightful laugh-a-minute production from the sweet and silly Celia Pacquola. Artfully devised from air-drumming beginning to sub-titled ‘where are they now’ ending, this fast-paced romp through Pacquola’s beliefs in the mystical barely lets you stop for breath.
Pacquola isn’t ashamed to admit that despite proof of her own intelligence, she still chooses to believe in the predictions of various fortune-tellers, even those who are entirely inaccurate and finish with “let me know how it all works out” – a sentiment that prompted the title and the question, “isn’t that what I just paid you to do?”
After a particularly dodgy palm reading encountered while working in the UK, Pacquola returned to Australia only to have to deal with a relationship breakup while still reeling from the results of her brutal assessment delivered in the reading. Whether or not these sort of predictions can be trusted, is the crux of this production, but the in the process of exploring this subject, Pacquola takes us on a surprising and riotous ride through her life.
The eleven drafts she confesses to wringing this show through have proven worth all the effort, as the structure of this show is perfect. Just when you think she has run out of material on psychic behaviour and is going in another direction she skilfully demonstrates the interconnectedness of her stories. In fact, there is such skill in Pacquola’s writing that the audience never finds itself ahead of the joke, and is therefore regularly delighted by the surprising titbits that this charming comedian throws out behind herself as she rollicks down the path to her revelatory conclusion.
In a detailed performance that is charmingly physical at times, Pacquola’s act is deeply personal and reflective of the foibles of a thirty-something single girl in Melbourne, while still being entirely relatable to a wider audience. Younger comedians like Tommy Little and Joel Creasey could learn much from Pacquola regarding refined authenticity and broad appeal.
There’s just a small smattering of audience interaction in this show – enough to ensure each night will feel fresh, but not so much to distract from the mountains of content Pacquola has jammed into this super-tight hour.
So get a ticket while you can and hang on to your seat, because this wonderfully wacky performer is going to knock your socks off.