Mae Martin, a London-based Canadian comedian, makes her Melbourne Comedy Festival debut in 2016. In her show titled Us, she will invite audiences to peer through the lens of her own fluid experience with love and sexuality, and will question whether we actually need to label ourselves at all.
Artist name: Mae Martin
MICF show name: Us
Dates: 31 March – 17th of April (no Monday performances)
Venue: Melbourne Town Hall, Cloak Room
Tickets can be purchased here.
Q AND A:
Q. What is your show about, and how did it come into being?
A. My show is about labels and identity, with a sort of throughline about my parents, and it came into being last year at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Q. What makes MICF different from other festivals you’ve been in?
A. For one thing, all of the international comedians are staying in one hotel, so as you can imagine there are a lot of HILARIOUS HIJINX taking place (literally nothing funny has happened yet). Other than that, Melbourne is just a glorious city and the general public seem really into the festival and are going out to see shows which is EXCELLENT.
Q. Who are your not-to-be-missed acts at this year’s festival?
A. Steen Raskopolous, Nina Conti, Sara Pascoe, David O’Doherty, Sam Campbell, and so many others.
Q. What do you believe is the purpose of comedy?
A. I think the core purpose has to be as simple as making people laugh, bringing joy to people… Anything on top of that, like changing minds, making people think, or filling the gaping chasm of emotional neediness in the performer’s soul, is just icing on the cake.
Q. Can the reaction of your audience make or break your show?
A. If a comedy show falls in the forest and nobody hears it does it make a sound? Yeah the reaction of an audience is crucial it’s the difference between a comedy show and just an insane person who has taken a room full of people hostage and is talking at them.
Q. What’s the best and worst review you’ve ever received?
A. Someone once wrote that I look like “Sid”, the villain from the first Toy Story film. He’s a sadistic pimply little boy. I think that was both the best and worst review I’ve ever got.
Q. Do you have any unforgettable overzealous fan experiences or heckles?
A. I sometimes have people online photoshop my face onto the bodies of people in quite interesting or compromising positions… that’s always interesting.
Q. Is there an act you would love to heckle?
A. Donald Trump? He’s a comedian, right?
Q. What would you put in a survival pack for MICF performers or audiences?
A. I’m really hungry right now so all I can think of is delicious snacks like I’m imagining a kind of chocolate and marshmallow sandwich. Maybe whiskey? Whiskey is always good in a survival pack.
Q. Do you have plans for your show beyond MICF?
A. I’m recording it as a BBC Radio 4 series, which I’m really excited about, and doing a short run in London at the Soho Theatre when I get back there.
Q. Do you prefer to write and perform under pressure, or in a relaxed environment?
A. I respond really badly to pressure. I usually contract an illness or cry or something. So I’m going to say relaxed.
Q. Do you have any stage superstitions?
A. I lip sync to Hard Knock Life by Jay Z while I’m back stage.