In the foyer of The Arts Theatre an impressive variety of ages queue up to see Denise for her 2014 Fringe show. The crowd wanders in for their seat and is greeted by a floral projection on screen that will later be used for a slideshow that, despite several timing errors, doesn’t throw Denise from her performance.
Denise arrives on stage looking professional in a black, semi-casual business suit. It presents a snappy persona that Denise utilises to her advantage on stage. It doesn’t take long for the topic of the show, motherhood, to be in full swing with the discussion heading straight onto the shape of a uterus. Denise doesn’t miss a beat while finding motherly humour in the more controversial topics.
She regales us with many tales from her past, from how she met her partner while they were working as clowns, to the conception and birth of her two children. Denise’s strength seems to come from her ability to use highs and lows throughout her stories to provide contrast and a more gentle approach when the story requires it. This is most evident when recounting the last few years and deaths of her parents. Humour is still found in these delicate topics and Denise’s comedic skills allow her to present these very personal moments without compromising the flow of the set.
The design of The Arts Theatre isn’t great for mingling amongst the crowd but that didn’t deter Denise from climbing down to the same level as everyone in the front row and having a chat with a few audience members. She absorbs these conversations in a fairly standard comedic manner throughout the show and, for one audience member, it seems like she is retelling an embarrassing story in front of his friends.
It is an all-round entertaining show sure to relate to many mothers in Adelaide.