Fresh from her run at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, Daisy Berry is giving Melbourne a taste of her charmingly self-deprecating humour in her debut solo show, Am I Mental?, and she is determined to get an answer to her question – by any means necessary.
People who have been lucky enough to catch Daisy in her ensemble shows will recognise some of the material, but old and new fans alike will find the same disarming, engaging, over-sized child of a comedian who will lure them into 55 minutes of volunteer therapy and leave them with an inexplicable sense of well-being. Daisy engages the audience from the beginning of the show to the very end, drawing laughter from the most unexpected places. Set up like an impromptu therapy session – complete with clipboard questionnaires to be filled out – Daisy spends the show airing her dirty laundry and asking the audience to answer the title question and determine her sanity once and for all.
At this point, I have a confession to make: Daisy reminds me, for no apparent reason, of my sister’s partner, so her jokes about her child-like appearance and oversized head are especially appealing to me. If, however, you find that she doesn’t remind you of a loved one, she does have a wide range of jokes in her repertoire: from family to sexuality, from Courtney Barnett to Jesus Christ, Daisy is an excellent storyteller and has an anecdote for every occasion and a punchline for everyone. Despite this being the first time she’s had a show to herself, she takes command of the Highlander room with the manner of someone who’s been doing comedy for longer than she’s even been alive. While her laconic style tends more towards warm chuckles than gut-splitting laughter, her ability to engage with the audience and her quiet confidence carry the show well, and the pacing held well throughout the 55 minutes. That said, the ending did feel a little abrupt – a lack of some strong material to end on might be the only real weak spot in this otherwise tight act.
So if you’re in the mood for a solid 55 minutes of comedy, or you just want to judge a complete stranger and be praised for it, get along to Am I Mental? before the end of the festival.
Am I Mental? is showing at Highlander from the 5th-16th of April. Tickets $20 ($15 conc) and are available through trybooking.com or at the door. For more information, check out the MICF website.