Written and performed by Annie Louey
Review by Lillian Gerlach
Entering the room for Annie Louey is Flirting with Death, you are greeted with a podium, a tv screen and a HUGE wooden upright coffin. Annie began the show with a re-enactment of her late father’s funeral which is a complete mess. Forgotten flowers, bad song choices and the former Lord Mayor of Melbourne who thinks he’s at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. It is genuinely hilarious and makes for some excellent jokes.
Annie then described her experiences working at a funeral home and dealing with strange requests from the deceased or their family members, her incredibly superstitious Chinese mother who would not allow any talk of death, and a very close brush with death when she was a teenager.
This show touched me, made me laugh and nearly made me cry. Annie re-does her father’s funeral at the end of the show; she remembers the flowers, picks a way better song and says goodbye to her dad in a much more comfortable way.
Annie interacted really well with her audience, never feeling awkward on stage and popping out to make improvised asides to audience members. The feeling in the room was light, and Annie made us feel comfortable enough to laugh at some darker themes of death.
In the days after I saw this show, my mind kept wandering back to it. It made me reflect on my own experiences of death and grief, but this time enjoying how silly and funny life can be, and how sometimes saying goodbye to someone you love can be a little funny, as well as sad. Not only was Annie incredibly funny, her show was really poignant. It was well written, reflective and came full circle. This show had a great big heart and I really enjoyed myself.
Annie Louey is Flirting With Death plays at the Melbourne Town Hall – Backstage Room until 24 April. Find tickets from $20 – $28 here.
Annie Louey then tours with the Comedy Festival Roadshow from 29 Apr – 1 May. She moves on to the Brisbane Comedy Festival 14 – 15 May. Find tickets for those shows here.
Follow Annie Louey on Instagram @annielouey. Her six-part web series From the Hearse’s Mouth is on YouTube here.