Hugs achieved: x1
With one of the bravest titles of the 2018 Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Fiannah de Rue is embarking on her maiden show ‘It’s Not Funny’. Fiannah attests that in fact, the show is funny but that it touches on some darker themes. “The inspiration for the show is that my dad passed away five years ago… and so I’m using that dark humour that I shared with him and family in general”. She continues in response to the concerned look on my face, “death is the inspiration but there is so much more in the show than just that”.
Fiannah is not attempting to be controversial with the show or “make people think a certain way”. Rather, she wants her show to be full of story telling, stand-up and absurd characters, to encourage audiences to look at grief in a different way, and if you are able, to show that “you can laugh at it”. Fiannah will draw on memories of family, her life as a performer and some absurd characters to bring the laughs, and to explore the emotions connected with the catalyst of the show. As she adds, “no one can tell you what is right or wrong with your experience of grief”.
“All my life I wanted to be a performer” says Fiannah, “this is the thing that makes me happiest in the world”. “I love making people laugh, to know that you’ve brought a bunch of people into a room and for an hour or so, they laughed and were really happy… I love doing it so much”! It is evident that Fiannah is excited to use “big”, and occasionally “silly” characters to bring the laughs to MICF audiences.
Fiannah recalls the connection she had with her dad and family with their “dark sense of humour” and them laughing at “dumb, dark jokes”. She hopes to recreate this feeling of a connection with the audience, and make them feel comfortable in the show. Fiannah does not want audiences to feel sorry for her, rather to find new perspective in dealing with certain emotions, “I hate that people say you can’t laugh at something just because it’s sad”. She has found “a lot of humour in telling stories from when I was a kid”, including a part of the show where she performs “as my ten year old self”.
“The inspiration is something that isn’t typically funny…but the point of the show is to encourage people to laugh at stuff that they’re not supposed to”. She also notes that her director and “gem” of a person Hayley Tantau, has been great in helping her find that balance between dealing with a sensitive issue and bringing the laughs. “It’s a comfortable and safe space to laugh”, says Fiannah, as well as “a bit silly”. She describes the show as “light, fun, entertainment…with no hang-ups”. ‘It’s Not Funny’ promises to be different from straight stand-up shows, with big characters, story telling and “a mix of everything”. It will be an “opportunity for people to feel more comfortable with their feelings”, and have a laugh along the way.
Check out Fiannah de Rue’s 2018 MICF show ‘It’s Not Funny’ from 9 to 22 April at the Tasma Terrace. For more information and to book tickets, click here.