Like quite a few of my peers, a good wine is somewhat wasted on me. I have neither the knowledge or experience to fully appreciate it, and my commentary oft can only extend as far as, “…it’s a white?”. A good whine on the other hand? Now you’re talking my language.
Whine List is the latest from international raconteur and dry, peppery wit Marcel Lucont, and could almost be described as something of a group therapy session, as Lucont works through, in his unique style, just a few of the audience’s worst experiences. On entry, you’re presented with a brief survey of “worsts”, such as “day at work”, “amorous encounter” and “overseas experience”; these form the content of the show, a back-and-forth between performer and audience, as well as a few “favourites” from previous shows.
Given its participatory nature, each show is going to be different, so we should focus more on the character of Marcel himself. His deadpan, dry delivery is oft time judgemental, but never so much as to alienate or victimise a member of the audience; a sensible choice, as it is from his interactions with them, and the absurdity and hilarity of the real life situations they have found themselves in (with quite a few on the night I attended seeming almost too bizarre to be real) that the comedy is drawn. His incredulous responses to some of the strangeness he encounters, combined with his laconic delivery are a delight to behold.
This is clearly a rounded character, so comfortable and developed that he can respond naturally to any situation he finds himself in. An unfortunate side effect of opening night, he began a little late; a short riff followed on the premise that “late is often better”. He has a tendency to misdirect expectations, subverting well known phrases and defying the established “comedy rule of threes”. In particular, his perversion of the Australian colloquialism, “no worries!” had me in hysterics.
Marcel Lucont is the creation of UK comedian Alexis Dubus, who is also performing – as himself – in Alexis Dubus Verse The World.
Marcel Lucont’s Whine List is on at 9:40pm at the Malthouse Theatre until 22 April as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Tickets are available at the box office or via the MICF website.