[COMEDY/STAND UP ~ AUS]
Thebarton Theatre – Fri 1 Mar.
Much loved South Australian stand up comedian Fiona O’Loughlin returned to her home state to perform for one night only to a packed Thebarton Theatre. Fiona presented the last performance of her show Gap Year, the story of a year in her life full of lows, rock bottoms, but ultimately a discovering strength and resilience.
Fellow South Aussie Marc Ryan, with whom Fiona has worked many times in the past, took to the stage to introduce Fiona, proudly declaring her his comic idol and the greatest story teller in Australia. And Fiona has certainly lived a life that is rife with storytelling potential! Her Gap Year starts dramatically with a coma, followed swiftly by a stint in Glenside, rehab, homelessness and financial ruin. From this rock bottom, Fiona pounced on the opportunity to be on I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here! More stories ensue of life in the jungle which, due to her huge popularity, lasted for six weeks; she was eventually crowned the show’s winner. Her Gap Year ends with a move to Melbourne and a fresh start.
On the face of it, it would seem there is little to laugh about, but it was belly laughs all the way as Fiona weaves her year of astonishing events with flash backs to her childhood in country South Australia, her life as a young wife and mother, her start as a comedian and her (thankfully) brief stint as a nurse. The appreciative audience were with Fiona all the way, ending in a standing ovation.
Fiona shamelessly lays out her failings for all to see and we happily embrace her for it. Her love for what she does shines out, as does her gratitude to have come full circle to be back on stage and drawing bigger crowds than ever. It was a fantastic hour in the hands of a master story teller, comedian, and survivor.