Image for Gina Yashere – Sydney Comedy Festival

Gina Yashere – Sydney ComedyFestival

Review: Gina Yashere
The Fusebox @ The Factory Theatre
Thursday 6 May 2010

“This ain’t no TV show!” announces Gina Yashere after a somewhat muted response to asking how her Thursday night audience was doing. “I am talking TO you!”

Indeed she was. The British-Nigerian comedienne evidently showed frustration with seeing comedy show after comedy show in which there is little to no interaction between those on-stage and those in the audience without the use of heckling. Naturally, there’s only one way to take a stand against this – head out completely unprepared and get some conversation happening with those amongst the first few rows. Risky territory? Damn right. Then again, this is where Yashere’s appeal lies. All she needs is a flicker of inspiration for a comedic tangent and off she goes – with about as much idea of where it’s headed as we do.

Case in point: a latecomer walked directly in front of Yashere just as she was beginning her performance. The conversation between Yashere and the tardy woman quickly turned to her occupation. She turned out to be a customs officer at an airport – naturally, Gina didn’t need another invitation. The ball rolled from there across a plethora of topics, as the incredibly talkative Brit delivered an engaging, clever and often quite ridiculous take on the world around her. Her main points of conversation were discussing her dealings with experiencing Sydney’s culture and giving her take on recent bizarre news stories. The former dealt in particular with the tourist-y Chinese Garden of Friendship (which got good laughs) and a ridiculous anecdote exposing the racism of some Sydney taxi drivers (which got even more). The latter, meanwhile, is where the comedy really began to expose not only Yashere’s best traits as a comedienne, but just how ridiculous breaking news can get.

If Yashere mimicking a woman giving birth on the toilet wasn’t gut-busting enough, perhaps you should get her started on the relationship humans can have with their pets. One story told of how a couple strolling with their baby and dog by the seaside jumped into the river after their dog and drowned. In case you couldn’t have guessed, this set our heroine right off on how significantly imbalanced relationships can be with our pets can be, especially when we spend thousands upon thousands on an animal we adopted for nothing. It might have been crude, but you’ll be damned if it wasn’t hilarious.

Gina Yashere is well-versed in comedic performances that are unhinged, unplanned and unpredictable. It’s dangerous territory – there were moments where it felt as if it could have completely deteriorated – but if anyone could pull it off and still keep their dignity in tact, it’s Yashere. She promised to be back soon, and there’s no doubt there’ll be quite a few of us taking her up on said promise.

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ducknroll said on the 12th May, 2010