Didactic and hilarious, Anna Piper Scott delivers a highlight from the Melbourne Fringe Festival of 2019. Daringly opening the act by asking the audience to raise their hand if they identify as queer, to which the Butterfly Club roars as loudly as any September footy final, Piper Scott immediately catches the spectator’s energy and continues to reflect it back for the entirety of the show.
Starting out paralleling her early life in Perth with her coming out over two years ago, a clever story is told with one idea building seamlessly into the next. Navigating themes of fear, love, and girl power, Piper Scott explores the common lines of interrogation and questioning the queer community face every day. This method of storytelling quickly descends into some dark themes, as one can imagine. However, thanks to the content warning issued before the gags and soon accompanied by exceptional comedic timing, these tougher moments become a joy to laugh along to. It’s this comedian’s ability to gently hold your hand throughout the stories and then yank you in another direction that makes this show so exciting and enjoyable.
Acing the traditional stand-up method with nothing but a microphone and contemporary social critique, no props or doodads make an appearance. Pausing to take a mouthful of beer during the slowest moment of the show is the closest Piper Scott gets to being dramatic. It’s a perfect balance for someone whose stage presence is so sassy and assertive. This hesitation serves as the catalyst for the remainder of the show which quickly becomes a display of strength and charisma.
The final moments see various jokes come to fruition as a case is built and mounted for Piper Scott to be declared the most feared and revered comedian. By this point in the short show, with tears in their eyes and stitches in their stomachs, the audience wholeheartedly supports her cause.
With only a couple of shows left this Fringe Festival, Anna Piper Scott: Queer and Present Danger is a must see this weekend. Tickets can be bought here.