Lauren Thiel: Don’t Tell Dad
Drama Llama, Rhino Room, Tartanya (Adelaide)
Friday March 4th, 10 PM

ABBA’s ‘Gimme! Gimme! Gimmie! (A Man After Midnight)’ preludes Jagged Edge’s ‘Let’s Get Married’ as Lauren Thiel dances her way through the crowd and onto the stage in a wedding dress. From this opening gambit, we know this show will be anything but dry. Indeed if there were such a thing as juicy humour, Thiel would certainly be it. Full of life and all the various ways one can go about creating it, Don’t Tell Dad is a show that puts it all out there for everyone to have a peek.

Thiel’s angle might not be the most original, but she valiantly endeavours to make it her own, juxtaposing her unfettered sexuality with her need for her conservative father’s approval. Even though this is Thiel’s first solo comedy show at the Fringe, she has the confidence of someone much more experienced. Her previous Fringe exploits in other genres serve her well this season.

By day, Thiel might be the most liberated accountant in Adelaide, perhaps all of Australia. Certainly, she’s not shy when it comes to sharing personal experiences in love and lust.

It takes commendable bravery to put your life so openly on display for your friends, your family, and the world to see. Especially in the world of comedy, an industry which has not been particularly welcoming to women. Gratefully, Thiel is unashamedly her authentic self, which only serves to endear her further to the audience.

Thiel’s confident sexuality is laid bare in this hour, and the audience generally receives it well. It’s not uncommon to hear from comedians that being on stage is a lot like having sex, and Thiel leans in to the simile throughout the night. There is plenty of nervous energy in the room, natural for a solo comedy show debut, but Thiel channels it effortlessly into fun and excitement. There’s no doubting her capability as a performer.

The material does get a little monotonous towards the end of the show. Thiel goes to the well and back again throughout the show on sexual innuendo, which is fine if that’s your bag, but most audiences may welcome a greater variation. We don’t get a complete story from start to end and the show would really benefit from an improved narrative and structure (and perhaps a big finale).

Overall, Thiel is a quality performer who gets every inch of value from her show’s premise and arouses plenty of laughs. A sexually liberated accountant with stage presence and a healthy following – I want to say it here first so I can claim to have predicted it – don’t be surprised if we see “Lauren Thiel – The Bachelorette” sometime in the future.

– Nick Harris

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