After being crowned Queen of the Jungle in last year’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! Fiona O’Loughlin has cemented her place as one of the queens of Australian comedy. Although a late starter to the comedy circuit, having first appeared at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in 2001, Fiona is a fan favourite and regularly sells out her performances. At last year’s MICF, Fiona’s show, Gap Year, focussed on her battle with alcoholism and her time spent in rehab. This year’s Fiona O’Loughlin Addresses the Nation was a complete departure from such serious topics.

Returning to her traditional style of comedy where she reflects on the humorous events throughout her life, this performance from Fiona shows just why she is such a popular act throughout Australia. Telling stories focusing on the words of wisdom she’s heard throughout her life, Fiona tells tales about her time in a rural school, about her (now separated from) husband, and about the best time she ever heard the c-bomb used.

Fiona’s comedy style has the audience reactions ranging from mild giggles through to roaring laughter and, through her abilities as a story-teller, she is able to take the audience through the details of each event. What is nice to see about Fiona is that she appears to genuinely enjoy being able to share these stories with an audience. It’s also great that now being alcohol free has improved Fiona’s comedic ability and gives her the opportunity to share about the harm alcohol has done in her life in a light hearted, approachable manner.

Being early in the Comedy Festival, Fiona’s performance wasn’t as polished as this reviewer has seen in the past and she did refer to notes a few times making the performance feel a little disjointed, however this also allows her to expand on stories that seem to be getting a greater audience response and, as the Festival continues, this will continue to grow into a much more fluid show.

Fiona is definitely a must-see for any Comedy Festival goer and this show is a chance to see one of Australia’s finest comedians strutting her stuff.