Alice Springs mother of five Fiona O’Loughlin takes to Melbourne stage this Comedy Festival with her signature life-experience based humour to render the audience in tears of laughter in the hopes of becoming Australia’s next Gay Icon in her new solo show The Divine Miss O.
Under the instruction and guidance of her management team Bitch PR, O’Loughlin graces the stage with a musical number to ‘get the gays’. In complete breach of her PR teams instructions of “No Cher songs”, Fiona’s rendition of Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves showcases not only her strength as a singer, but the power she possesses to own a stage and capture the audience.
Throwing her Cher-esq wig to the floor, O’Loughlin pulls up a chair and welcomes us all into her life, and it isn’t long before you find yourself holding your sides and begging her to stop, if only you could catch a breath.
Telling stories instead of straight jokes keeps the show real and interesting, following her past employment as a nurse, marriage, motherhood and her public battle with alcohol.
She finds laughter in recounting her last show as a ‘drinker’, having passed out on stage during a show in Brisbane after telling the audience to “Get f*#ked” and waking up in hospital the next day, O’Loughlin can match guts and gile with the best of drunk entertainers.
“I know it’s not a competition but my blood alcohol level that night was bloody impressive,” she laughs as she strolls the stage.
Throwing verbal daggers at everyone from her children, playgroup mothers, rehab room mates and giving a sneak peak at what she says to ‘The Hoff’ in this season’s premier episode of the Celebrity Apprentice, Fiona O’Loughlin is a true entertainer.
The Divine Miss O was in fine form when she gave a rendition of Sondheims Company song, The Ladies Who Lunch. Her perfect American accent and contempt for ‘those women’ kept your close attention to her relaxed and natural presence. A slight prop malfunction had her slip over on stage during Lady Gaga’s Born This Way , when she forgot to avoid the Cher wig on the floor and had her proclaim in laughter “Shit, I think I’ve done a hammy [hamstring]”. Leading directly into The Rose, by her show’s name-sake Bette Midler, it was hard for Fiona to keep a straight face, hold her now strained legs and remain on pitch.
The grace, truth, humour and beautiful singing voice of Fiona O’Loughlin secures her place as a gay icon in my eyes. An absolutely amazing show and one of this years best acts in the Melbourne Comedy Festival 2012.