I have always admired people who get up on a stage, in the spotlight, in front of a crowd of strangers. There’s a reason I’m a writer and not a performer. The thought is terrifying, my brief appearance on the Heather Ledger stage last month notwithstanding. It’s a pretty gutsy thing to do. Even more so the solo performer who only has a microphone and their wits about them under the harsh lights and even harsher gaze of a paying audience.
Imagine then how much more difficult it would be to do a stand-up routine when you have attention deficit disord—is that a hole in Rose Callaghan’s dress? Why hasn’t she fixed it? Has she noticed it? Surely she’s noticed? Should I say someth—that tonight’s performer was only diagnosed with at the age of 32. Fairly late to confirm a couple of decades of awkward behaviour I would have thought.
But this forms the basis of Callaghan’s routine with tales from her childhood, teenage years and early adulthood on dealing with ADD. Generously, she also provides an extensive and explicit resume of her romantic exploits including advice regarding the online dating scene.
The humour is a little hit and miss and the pint-sized performer who describes herself as Zooey Deschanel’s voluptuous little sister started slowly. She eventually worked her way into a disjointed rhythm of riffs on sex and drugs and the men in her life.
The funniest moments for me were her discovery of a GP’s apparent marketing plan where people dating people with ADD end up discovering they have it too like some form of sexually transmitted disease! Then there’s the time she took her 95 year old Nan to see Delta Goodrem in Cats. Let’s just say Lloyd Webber’s work and Delta’s rendering of it weren’t seen as cultural high-points.
Things end abruptly and as the person I saw the show with remarked, it felt more like a rambling conversation you would have with a friend at a pub. It’s a delivery style that is good-natured if extremely crass at times. The ADD is mostly played for laughs though it might have added another layer if there was a little more serious insight into this condition.
Attention Deficit… Ooh! A Pony! is on at the Noodle Palace until 13 February.