Fiona O’Loughlin’s ‘My Brilliant Career’ starts with glitzy opening music, and the arrival onto the stage of a classic Australian comedian, who immediately launches into a complaint on turning 50, beautifully setting the tone for the evening.
‘My Brilliant Career’ is, as quoted by the comic herself, ‘five stories of stuff that [has] happened’ over her long career – fifteen years at last count – and is presented as only a fifty year old mother of five can present a show: with humour, but a bit slowly.
O’Loughlin is a good comedian, to be sure. She knows her stories and she knows how to tell them to her audience, but that doesn’t prevent her from reminding us of a darling aunt telling assorted nieces and nephews stories at a backyard barbecue. Every tale is casually told – she’s especially casual about her well-documented alcoholic days, which is refreshing in the face of celebrities who would often hide indiscretions of any magnitude – and can take a little buildup before the punchline, but the total sum of all her humour is valuable enough to disregard any slowness.
Of her stories, most are about her family, and the accidents she’s had with them over the years, from her daughter dropping through the skylight and into the bathtub during O’Loughlin’s relaxation time, to her self-proclaimed ‘nearly affair’ with her best friend. The affair, which comprises the majority of the performance, can get a little deep into a depression in her marriage, but O’Loughlin brings it back into the realm of humour with well placed pauses and ensuing jokes, reminding us that even the darkest times in our lives can be hilarious.
Though the show is only five stories long, there are plenty of moments to laugh at, and plenty to keep listening for. Even if the buildup is slow, there are still bites of humour to keep you focused – the best being some very enthusiastic didgeridoo playing – leading to a show with a pleasant rise and fall of relaxation and side-busting laughter. O’Loughlin’s humour may not necessarily appeal to someone who’s in it for rapid-fire jokes, but for those who are looking for casual storytelling will be delighted by Fiona’s Brilliant Career.