MICF: Laura Davis – Notes from Birds

In Laura Davis – Notes from Birds, Davis recounts a tale of a past comedy festival when she decided to get out of her hotel room and experience more of the world. Davis presented the show quite well, looked very cute in her cardigan at the start and presented a personable, naïve character that at times was charming and at other times seemed very foolish. The audience seemed to like Davis and wanted to like her show, but this was made difficult by a script that lacked substance.

Laura Davis
Laura Davis

Twenty-four-year-old Davis sets the scene with some promise, describing her lonely hotel game of “How low can you go?”, where she does things that are deliberately sad in the hope that they will be so bad they become good. (It’s a nice theory, but it didn’t work on the review night.) Realising there had to be more to life than this, she decided to open herself up to possibilities by walking around Melbourne one night.

The MICF guide description of the show as a detective story isn’t all that accurate as the trail of “clues” doesn’t lead anywhere. It’s more of a ramble without any clear purpose. After about half an hour I had to stifle a yawn and was disappointed to see on my watch that we had quite a long way to go. This is unfortunate as there were some appealing flourishes, like the discussion of  “showerable food” in one of Davis’s sad hotel games, how the story connected to the title of the show, and some nice touches at the end, but they weren’t enough of a reward.

I can appreciate in a story-based show that you don’t have to be funny all of the time, but you should be funny at least some of the time. The audience got isolated patches of laughter, but for me this is another for the “no laughs out loud” file.

Davis appears to be in a bubble similar to that of many of her contemporaries. I have seen a number of shows from young performers that would have benefitted from a more critical appraisal before they reached the stage.

Friends may be reticent to say that your script needs some work, or that you have a distracting (maybe nervous) habit such as hair twirling while you perform. Should Davis receive some mentoring, I am confident that she could use her performance skills to better effect and enhance her appeal.

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