Wednesday 11 April 2018

Marcel Lucont's Whine List - Comedy Review

What: Marcel Lucont's Whine List
When: 10 - 22 April
Where: Beckett Theatre, Coopers Malthouse
Created and performed by: Alexis Dubus

Marcel Lucont
Marcel Lucont's Whine List is a kind of humour which definitely appeals to people who watch the world in despairing wonder - people like me. Lucont (Dubus) is playing in The Beckett Theatre at Coopers Malthouse for the next two weeks of the Comedy Festival and I really recommend it.

Lucont has a fine stand up routine, disdainfully and yet elegantly delivering observations about the curious things he encounters as he travels around the world. If you watched Tonightly with Tom Ballard a week ago you would have seen Lucont do a guest appearance. In that segment he comments on the intriguing way each state welcomes it's guests on the signage. He is completely mystified and miffed that only people named Vic are welcome in Melbourne.

The true genius of his show though, lies not in his stories, but the stories he elicits from the hapless audience. Before we entered we were asked to fill out a questionnaire where were asked for our worst day at work, worst amorous encounter, and worst overseas experience.

I often talk about the issue of consent in relation to audience participation and Lucont deals with the problem perfectly. When the audience is given the form they are warned Lucont will choose the ones he likes best to use in the show. Ergo, if you fill in the form you are giving implied consent to be engaged as a participant. It is too late after the fact to act all coy and reticent so be warned.

The body of Marcel Lucont's Whine List lies in his selection of responses and his languid and unrelenting interrogations to find out more.  The truth is, he really doesn't have to do much to make the audience laugh. It is quite eye opening to see just how wrong some people's life go.

On opening night it was also very illuminating with regard to college life in Melbourne. Have you heard of the 7 Wonders? It is 7 places in the University (I won't mention which University) couples should have sex whilst being a student. Here's a hint - there is a lawn and a tower...

It is the patronising air of gallic superiority which makes Lucont's show work. Dubus is an Englishmen, and we all know about the rivalry between the French and the English. Lucont is a construction of all the great prejudices about the French - their arrogance, love of wine , and always being right.

I have to admit despite the arrogance, Lucont's insouciance and fake accent are still outrageously sexy. What is it about the French? Even faux French people have it!

The format does get a bit repetitive, but the variety of idiotic and outrageous situations people have found themselves in means the laughs just keep coming. Between categories Lucont also graces us with some of the best responses across the course of his travels in the UK and even without the interrogation they are stand alone hilarious. Oh, the things people get up to!

Marcel Lucont's Whine List is a late show, but the Malthouse has food and drink caravans and festoon lighting out in the courtyard as well as their usual offerings indoors. Go along, have some dinner and perhaps a couple of glasses of wine, and then take in a lovely red to sip along with Lucont as he gets you looking at the world through a slightly more jaded set of eyes than our own. Don't spill the wine laughing though!

4 Stars

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