Friday 5 June 2015

Ghost Machine review

There's a ghost that is said to haunt The Butterfly Club. Upstairs, in its theatre, it lingers on stage, flashing lights on and off and - oh hang on a minute, it's just Laura Davis covered in a white bed sheet in her 2015 Melbourne International Comedy Festival award-winning show, Ghost Machine.

Davis travels back to her first existential crisis, at the age of 11, and from there she revisits the moments in her life where things haven't always been that great. It is all done however in a masterful way where despite sharing these personal stories and experiences, she gives the audience permission to laugh at/with her because we can all relate to what she is saying. We have all experienced the despair, the rage and the humiliation of our circumstances in some way, shape or form.

Ghost Machine ponders the age-old questions, what are we doing here and why are we here. The show is not a constant bellyache of laugh out loud humour but it's a damn good entertaining hour of insights and story sharing. Davis has an extremely calming presence to her and even with the awkward stage persona and the loud talking, she creates a warm and welcoming environment for her audience. This is especially crucial for when she ventures into the crowd asking for not only what their guilty pleasures are and also to share the regrets of their life.

If there's one thing to take away from Ghost Machine it's that life isn't always going to be a bunch of roses. There is always going to be crap that we are going to have to deal with but Davis lets it be known, because it something we need to constantly hear, that looking on the bright side is always important and to laugh the little things away. It's a very valuable lesson. Well that, and not to self medicate based on a YouTube comment.

Venue: The Butterfly Club, 256 Collins St, Melbourne
Season: Until 7 June | Fri-Sat 9:00pm, Sunday 8:00pm
Tickets: $32 Full | $28 Conc
Bookings: The Butterfly Club

*Original review appeared on Theatre Press on 5 June.

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