Adelaide Fringe 2020 Review – An Evening with Fiona O’Loughlin & Mickey D
by Cath Leo
★★★½ – 3½ Stars for Fiona’s farewell to the Fringe
Fiona O’Loughlin has been a stalwart of the Australian comedy scene and first appeared at the Adelaide Fringe 20 years ago! Her current show is also her farewell to the Fringe and she was joined by her friend, and fellow comedian, Adelaide’s own Mickey D to send us out with a giggle and a salute to one of our most unique and honest comic performers.
Mickey opened the show encouraging us to bring it up for the legend that is Fiona O’Loughlin. Having the two comedians on stage allowed for some Q & A opportunities, some stories from gigs gone by, and the attention could be on Fiona as she told a story but then Mickey could facilitate it on to the next subject if required. They are clearly great friends and had a genuine and endearing repoire on stage.
Fiona has been an open book over the last decade, sharing many of the challenges she and her family have gone through with her alcoholism, as well as experiencing a coma in 2015 due to carbon monoxide poisoning, which as she mentioned during her Fringe show left her with some brain damage and memory loss.
I really welcomed her honesty and have always admired her desire to share the hard realities of her life… that it hasn’t always been a pretty and easy story. Her dark humour can be a little confronting at times, in particular the quips about getting smashed over the years, being drunk on stage… I found myself not wanting to laugh at all of these jokes given our knowledge of her challenges.
I would have loved her to expand more on some of the difficult truths that she only slightly tapped into, like the challenge of having hugely successful career moments like opening for Jerry Lewis at the Enmore Theatre in Sydney and then returning to the normality of family life in Alice Springs, without a small break in between to digest the huge contrast in those life experiences. This is a theme that many women in particular want to hear about, and I would have relished in hearing more about those times for Fiona. I’ve heard comedians like Corey White take incredibly traumatic life experiences and present them with part humour and part reflective discussion and I could imagine Fiona O’Loughlin having a continued career in this realm.
There were many die-hard fans in the audience and they received their star wholeheartedly. If you are one of those then you’ll want to farewell an Adelaide Fringe legend. I’m intrigued to know what will be next for Fiona – I’d love to hear more from her, sharing the ups and downs and learnings of her life. Perhaps in a setting associated with the things she’s been through, whether that be recovery from her coma, or alcoholism.
Fiona O’Loughlin and Mickey D will be in the May Wirth at Gluttony every night except Mondays until the end of the Fringe.
For more information please visit the Adelaide Fringe website.
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