Laura Davis is good at this comedy show thing. She has been doing it since she was 19 years old, marvelling at the world and turning nature facts into jokes. But now, over a decade later, she has a fire in her belly that is burning so hot alongside the planet the marvel has turned into something of a fury.
There’s an urgency, an almost savagery in her message. “We are farming stupid people agriculturally,” she states, and her case is fascinating and well put. We are looking at the wrong places and not the right ones, it’s a magic sleight of hand on a global scale and Davis is drawing back the curtain on Oz.
The difficulty lies in the passion she displays – it means everything. And it should, it’s our world she’s talking about. But at around two thirds of the way through the show becomes a mass of information squeezed into a finite amount of time, fuelled by fury and frustration and relegating jokes in the order of importance amongst these much bigger concerns.
There are some excellently well-written and performed pieces in here too, especially when she delivers a delightfully subversive physical punchline that is both clever and broad. It smacks everyone in the face in surprise and Davis is gleeful at that, as well she should be.
Davis is articulate, thoughtful, funny, loud, and passionate. She seems at odds with the world, partly from having spent her lockdown living in the woods of New Zealand – “You can’t come back from squirrelling tins,” she explains, and it clearly gives her a bigger perspective, a wider view. Quite whether that amounts to a fully structured and consistent comedy show might be another – and indeed lesser – matter.
Laura Davis – If This Is This It
Monkey Barrel, Carnivore 1, 3-28 (except 16th) August 2022