Review: Judith Lucy - Ask No Questions of the Moth
Cecile Blackmore | On 31, May 2015
Like a fine wine (or two), seasoned comic Judith Lucy’s only getting better with age, and her new bare-all show sets the Powerhouse Theatre off in stitches on its Tuesday night preview.
Continuing in the vein of her previous stand-up shows such as I Failed! and Judith Lucy’s Not Getting Any Younger, Ask No Questions of The Moth is dedicated to her truly awful 2014, which featured early-onset menopause and the death of her brother Niall to lung cancer – but she opens shaking a pair of maracas, her trademark manic grin set firmly in place.
Judith’s career spans back to the 90’s, from the groundbreaking Late Show to later roles on the big screen in Crackerjack, Bad Eggs and most recently The Sapphires, with a tumultuous stint in breakfast radio in between. Having found acclaim in two novels and the recent success of her second ABC television series, Judith Lucy is All Woman, she could be justified in resting on her laurels – but she still revels in taking inspiration from the seamier sides of life.
She sets the tone five minutes in, musing “I think I’m a happy masturbator,”, before descending and demanding if the audience had shared in this experience, to shrieks of laughter.
Other topics Judith gleefully wades through include vaginal enhancement, Fifty Shades of Gray, dating a man twelve years her junior and the perils of receiving unsolicited penis (or “Spam javelins”, as she memorably calls them) pictures. Though quick to bemoan hipsters and laugh about her own age, her more topical jokes are spot on for someone who chooses to avoid the social media circus. She’s the right mix of warm and bitingly cynical when mining the audience for material, and it’s a mark of her skill as a comic that her “victims” are always left laughing.
Despite the show’s promotional material, Judith sadly does not perform in a moth costume – she took the name from the 12th century Safi poem The Dullard Sage about how fleeting life can be. As well as weight gain, irritability and incontinence, aging also inevitably brings about the death of loved ones and she recounts her time in grief counselling and various coping mechanisms both flippantly and touchingly.
She sends herself off with a tirade about her early-onset menopause that leaves the audience howling.
At 23, I’m easily the youngest person there, having treated my parents to front row seats in a guilty display of daughterly affection. Jude’s cynicism and eye for the hilarious in a dark situation had bewitched me from an early age, and although the jokes about hot flushes may not hit home with as much, Ask No Questions of the Moth proved that her wit’s as sharp as ever – I look forward to seeing her take on the uglier side of life in the years to come.
Judith Lucy – “Ask No Questions Of The Moth”
27 May – 7 June
Powerhouse Theatre, Brisbane Powerhouse, 119 Lamington St, New Farm
$41.90 – $54.90
Visit the Brisbane Powerhouse websiteÂ for booking information
Image: Gary LaPersonne