Maria Bamford review - SkinnyFest 2

Article by Robin Dart | 14 Aug 2006
Award-winning comedians can lull you into a false sense of security when parting with your pennies at this festival, and although Maria Bamford is the proud owner of 2004's Melbourne Comedy festival Barry Award for Outstanding Show, if you expect that to mean she is a bawling, laugh-a-second comic, spitting out gags like they are out of fashion, you might be sorely disappointed.

Basing her show on the premise of family and a small town Minnesota background, she uses her knack for off-kilter impressions, schizophrenically switching characters, immersing the audience in a weird sitcom, all performed in a nervous whisper. Wide-eyed and utterly adorable, Bamford wanders through a story which acts as a vehicle for her many 'voices'. From a frighteningly accurate pug dog named Blossom to the prom queen turned checkout girl, her observations and somewhat strange humour are quite charming.

However, as Bamford meanders through the mire of her dysfunctional family life, her hushed delivery can be almost soporific and from time to time the act begins to lose its way a little. But the style and delivery of the show carries Maria Bamford's own inimitable brand of subtle comedy over and above any slight shortcomings for a lovely, but gentle, hour of a Fringe evening.
Maria Bamford - Plan B, Assembly Rooms, until August 28 (not 14, 21), 19:30, £11.50/£10 (£10.50/£9).