Melbourne, Melbourne Fringe 2015, Uncategorized

Ghost Machine, Melbourne Fringe Festival 2015

0 Comments 28 September 2015

The tone of Ghost Machine is set before the show even starts: as the audience trickles in Laura Davis stands proudly on a bare stage. She’s wearing a ghost costume (i.e. a sheet with eye holes cut out) and a curious backpack-type device that has a squeaky gyroscopic appendage with a light attached to the end of it. Like the rest of the show, it is strange, surprising, and ultimately hilarious.

Davis herself is all of these things, and her stand-up show covers a range of topics from her life that range from seriously morbid to downright silly. The audience is taken from her rural childhood right through to what she thinks is going to happen when she dies.

The first part of Davis’ show is performed with the sheet intact over her head, and the outbursts of deep belly-laughs were rolling in long before she even revealed her face. The unique and deft way she uses her voice means the audience can tell when she is exasperated as opposed to exhausted, confused as opposed to frustrated. Delightful costume alterations keeps things fresh, and the backpack-cum-light contraption is just one aspect of the delightful tech flourishes.

One of her intended tech features failed on opening night but Davis continued, undeterred, making a quick joke and full recovery. Audience participation and the resulting spontaneous quipping is definitely one of her strengths, and she has clearly identified this and makes the most of it. She makes fast jokes and her talent is such that her audience trusts her.

It would be too easy to simply label the show as “dark”. More accurately, there is a feeling that Davis has transported seriously adult concerns (mortality, religion, sex) into the mind of a child. The result is not unlike a toddler having too much Red Bull and an existential crisis. A real cleverness is required to carry off this kind of sustained immaturity, and there is no doubt that behind Davis’ crazed, lilting voice, bright neurons are constantly firing.

Ghost Machine is, like Davis herself, wholly unique. Topics like the uselessness of an Arts degree and the ridiculousness of religion, which have been dragged through the mud by stand-ups all over the world, are somehow funny again. She is self-reflective without being self-indulgent, and generously genuine to her audience. This show is not to be missed.

Ghost Machine runs from the September 26th – October 3rd at 9:15pm at the Lithuanian Club, 44 Errol Street, North Melbourne - Find more informationa at: 

Share your view

Post a comment

Author Info

This post was written by who has written 6 posts on Buzzcuts.

Bri Lee is a Brisbane-based freelancer who founded and runs Hot Chicks with Big Brains. Specialising as a writer, she is also an editor, photographer, videographer, and model. Bri is the inaugural recipient of YWCA’s Women’s Leadership scholarship. She graduated from the University of Queensland with a dual law (Hons) and arts (Mandarin) degree in 2014. Bri and all her friends are proudly feminist.

Blog Authors

© 2024 Buzzcuts.

Website by A New Leaf Media