Patrick O’Duffy writes…

This is Dave’s first Comedy Festival show, after doing 6-minutes spot in group gigs like the Comedy Hole and the Giggle Gulag. He’s got some great material about sex, footy, women and how Sydney and Melbourne are different, and he’s ready to repeat them over and over again until he gets a laugh. Whether or not the jokes are funny.

And then, ten minutes into his set, things take a sudden, terrible turn, and Dave’s act – and mind – start falling apart.

Trying to describe ‘Dave’ is kind of an exercise in futility, other than to say that this one-(wo)man show by Zoe Coombs-Marr is nothing short of brilliant. With a few wisps of stick-on facial hair and glistening, desperate eyes, Zoe vanishes within the character of Dave, the bogan comedian-wannabe whose increasingly absurd, erratic attempts to pad out six minutes of material into an hour were incredibly, horrifically funny.

It’d be easy for a show like this to be a self-indulgent exercise in telling us that yes, whoa, some comedians aren’t very good. But Dave is so much more than that. Alongside the meta-humour, surreal asides and occasional (and gross) physical comedy is empathy for the compelling character of Dave himself, who only wants approval from Wil Anderson and the Footy Show scouts, who only becomes more sympathetic the more incoherent and unfunny his show becomes.

I’ve been lucky enough to see many great shows this Festival, but I’ve never seen an audience driven in constant hysterics the way they were at Dave, or a standing ovation that was so deserved. Zoe Coombs-Marr’s show is utterly incredible, and with only one more performance left, you need to book for it RIGHT NOW or miss out on an absolute highlight of the 2013 season.

STOP READING AND BOOK YOUR TICKETS DAMNIT.

Zoe Coombs Marr in Dave is on at the Northcote Town Hall, Saturday 11pm on 20th April.

You can visit Patrick O’Duffy’s website or follow him on twitter: @patrickoduffy.

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