After performing pantsless in Asking For It, Adrienne Truscott is wrestling with the question “Am I a comedian (sorry, comedienne) or am I a performance artist?”
Like Zoe Coombs Marr in Trigger Warning, Adrienne is tackling “difficult second album syndrome” – how do you follow up a show that was so challenging and so well known? How do you answer the critics, some of whom reduced your work to “gimmick”? You confront it head-on and you pay homage to your favourite comedian/performance artist, Andy Kaufman.
A One-Trick Pony proves that however you classify yourself, whatever your critics and trolls think, you have to be whoever you are. If that means hanging a dress over your naked body, eating pancakes and drinking beer while doing the splits, you do you. This new show might not be as confronting as Asking For It, but it’s definitely as challenging.
Adrienne, at times, wants you to think that maybe she doesn’t know what she’s doing. She wants the audience to question whether she is even prepared. Is she a comedian? She’s telling some terrible jokes. But she knows those jokes are terrible – “That’s the worst joke I’ll tell all night.” The truth, of course, is she is in complete control all the time – even in the parts where she is thinking about what to do next. Kaufman often gave the impression he wasn’t doing anything and somehow that was hilarious, too. Truscott is the same.
There’s something fitting about the fact that Asking for It was performed in a pub and A One-Trick Pony is at the Malthouse Theatre. The first was a dissection of beer-swilling male comedians. The difficult second album is a destruction of the line between comedy, performance art and theatre. Or maybe it’s not a destruction; maybe it’s a construction of these things into whatever the hell Adrienne Truscott wants to do. However her critics want to label her, Adrienne will continue to do what she does – brilliant, hilarious, challenging comedy/performance art.
Now, was there something else I was going to mention…
Is there something I have forgotten about last night’s performance?
[stares silently at the screen for several minutes]
Oh yeah, at the end of the show, Adrienne Truscott dragged me on stage… She knew I was a critic.
I’ll never be able to listen to R.E.M.’s ‘Man on the Moon’ in the same way again.