Marcel Lucont’s Whine List comes to the Malthouse theatre as part of the MICF for an evening of ‘group therapy where you leave more depressed’. Before taking our seats in the Beckett theatre the audience are asked to write down the answers to three questions which all begin with the common theme, ‘your worst...’. The show is quintessentially French, as Marcel enters the stage to the Can Can with a glass of wine in hand, before offering the audience some pointers in good etiquette. Marcel goes on to introduce the show with some dry observations about Australian culture and offers the opinion that Melbourne is slightly too ‘pretentious’ for him, while flicking his hair and taking a sip of his red wine.

Marcel is joined on stage by a projection screen which displays the audiences answers to the questions put to them before the show. We begin our Friday evening group therapy with ‘your worst day at work’; as he goes on to dissect the answers as they appear on the screen; before interrogating the audience members who offered them. Marcel Lucont has truly taken ownership of French archetypes and ran with them to contextualise his Whine List. This show utilises a unique comedic concept wherein improvisation plays a huge part; as Marcel has no idea what material he is going to be working with on the night and does well to navigate the material and find the humour in each story. Marcel is clearly well traveled and uses his experiences to his advantage with much of the humour stemming from his judgemental interpretation of various countries and their stereotypes. This being an extremely effective concept in Melbourne as the audience members are so culturally diverse. Although much of the show is based on past experiences Marcel manages to keep the evening topical with his political and socio economic knowledge of current world affairs. With inspiration from the audience, a few ‘vintage whines’ and some ‘palate cleansers’ the Whine List offers a hilariously dark perspective on the current state of the world. Stick around until the end – my favourite part of the show as Marcel shares his brilliant short film about the bleak reality of life in British seaside towns; dark observational humour at its best.

If you enjoy charismatic dry humour, laughing at yourself and being laughed at by a group of strangers Marcel Luconts Whine List is for you!!