MICF review: Mae Martin, Dope

Hocus Pocus obsessive makes for a magic night of awkward confessions. You’ll never look at Bette Midler the same way again. 

Mae Martin’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival debut last year was a Herculean task for the eminently likeable, British-based, Canadian-born stand-up. Having contracted a killer lurgy on the plane here, she struggled valiantly through with several hacking cough gaps, all the while bearing all about her eccentric family, and OCD face-washing habit and a self-confessed propensity to go a bit Ted talk at times.

Dope sees her return, in similar confessional form, with a smuggled message too, though you’ll be the privy to her kinky Hocus Pocus Bette Midler sexual awakening before any of the serous stuff about how her obsessional tendencies primed her for being a teenage dope (and occasional, accidental heroin) dealer and sometime addict.

With a nervy, tangential-hopping delivery that endears, Martin was still locking down the show as she goes on the second night of a long run, and made occasional enquiries as to whether she should stick with some material. I, for one, hollered that an awkward attempt at a threesome with a fairly sketchy polyamorous couple in Berlin should make the grade.

It’s also fun to find out that her stand-up days started early. So young, in fact, that her decision to mimic one of her heroes Bill Hicks and walk on stage with a fag had vaguely horrified audiences unsure what to do with this off the rails kid. She may be on the straight and narrow now, but there’s nothing dull about this rising star.

Stephen A Russell @SARussellwords

★★★1/2

Book tickets to see Mae martin’s Dope at MICF here.