Sitting in the front two seats at Angella Dravid’s show was always going to be awkward, but for a comedian known for her awkwardness, it actually turned into a hilarious night out.
I’m not the biggest fan of that brand of comedy – I always hated the “cringe factor” of The Office – but Angela’s likeable awkwardness, and her crazy life story, was consistently entertaining stuff.
And she loves bringing the audience in on the ‘awkward.’ She created palpable tension quizzing myself and my friend over any potential love interest, and gave me a bag to throw on the stage at the 40 minute lull.
I thought with the early stuttered laughs from the audience I’d definitely be clock watching, but the 2017 Billy T nominee had us engrossed with her ‘true-story’ of internet marriage – via Yahoo Messenger – and the ‘bonkers’ fallout that followed.
The show is about love, and not about love. It’s a you-wouldn’t-believe-it-if-you-didn’t-hear-it tale that covers gobsmacking ‘toe-job’ revelations, her crack-up life in jail and friendship with serial killer Rosemary West.
Behind the awkward front is a whip-smart observationalist. Who knew strip-searches were a great source of body confidence? And that getting cellmates to sign your leaving card might be a bit insensitive?
She delves into awkward Tinder dates too, which made my friend and I give each other looks which got the attention of Angella. I have to give it to her she pushes the boundaries and we almost had a swiping situation. Now that’s dedicated audience interaction.
The writer from Seven Days will keep you hooked with her wild tales, and before I knew it the hour-long show had flown by and the rolled up bag was still in my hand. Lucky I gave it back, as it proved to be a clever wrap to the set from this very intelligent comedian.
It’s a show that if you embrace the awkward – and dive down the rabbit hole head-first – you’ll enjoy it so much more. Especially if you’re in the front row.
Angella’s show is on at The NZ International Comedy Festival until Saturday 20th May