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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | August 3, 2021

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David Baddiel - My Family: Not the Sitcom

David Baddiel – My Family: Not the Sitcom
Paige Duffy


David Baddiel had the audience roaring in this comedic, one-man memoir, performed as part of Brisbane Festival 2018.

Ah, the Tivoli, a venue that is the second home of many Brisbane music lovers and, for tonight at least, Brisbane’s comedy seekers. David Baddiel’s one-man stage show, My Family: Not the Sitcom premieres in Australia during Brisbane Festival 2018 after a sold-out run in London and two performances that brought laughs and tears to London’s famed West End.

In his show, Baddiel steers the audience on a journey encompassing an array of emotions and responses, from laughter to tearing eyes, from shock to a lingering discomfort. The live memoir was incredibly funny and stirring at various stages and occasionally all at once. Through Baddiel’s recollections of his now late, sex-crazed mother and father diagnosed with dementia, we come to see the inner workings and dimensions of Baddiel’s diverse and utterly humanised family.

I say humanised because it’s what Baddiel’s show does. Baddiel’s makes a point of highlighting our tendency when someone we know passes to only discuss the positive and politically acceptable parts of a person, but those parts of a person are never truly what makes them who they are. Those parts we recognise and would readily recall during a eulogy or when reminiscing over coffee are only a fraction of the person we knew and loved, so to truly do them honour and recognise them as a person and individual with mixed qualities is to discuss all those idiosyncrasies that make them who they are.

The show was long, which, being a memoir, I suppose is appropriate considering all the moments and memories packed into our lifetimes. But I did find the end of the performance lingering. I appreciate Baddiel’s want to involve the audience at the end of the performance, but after the almost two-and-a-half-hour show, I’m not particularly interested in what some guy said on Twitter.

Baddiel’s performance is a testimony to his mother and an acknowledgement that he recognises her for all the oddities that make her unique. Baddiel’s show serves as a reminder to appreciate the eccentric characteristics and unique habits of the people with whom we share our lives.

The Details 

What: David Baddiel – My Family: Not the Sitcom

Where: The Tivoli

When: Thursday 13 September

Price: $69 + booking fee

Bookings: Sold Out

Images provided by Brisbane Festival 2018