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Denise Scott: Mother Bare at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2014

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by Elizabeth Quinn (subscribe)
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Mother Bare - Beam Us Up Scotty
From her unassuming entrance onto the Fairfax Studio stage in a dark no-frills pantsuit to her fond farewell 90 minutes later, Denise Scott had her (largely female) audience at hello. We were right there with her as she introduced herself with a demonstration of the guttural sounds only women who have given birth can emit – from the birth itself, through to "For God's sake can you move out?" to "For God's sake can you come back?"

Oh yes, we were eavesdropping on the line the day she got the call from God; when her urge to reproduce overcame her desire to be a bride of Christ (no matter how decent a husband he might have been, the chances of him fathering a child were minuscule - she'd heard He was… omnipotent!)

Fast forward to 1981 and the Albury Wodonga Clown Ensemble, where young Denise's heritage and adolescent hormones converged to cast the die that would see her on her way to a stellar performing career and a love match (almost) made in heaven; Dad Russ was a deliverer of small goods by day…and a man with his own clown suit and big dreams when day was done. Throw that impressive pedigree into the mix with a government-funded (there IS a Gough!) clown troupe whose number included a rather handsome young medical undergraduate by the name of John – and it's no wonder our heroine chose the low road.

From stories of her aptly-named gynaecologist Dr Pill (no joke – turns out he delivered the offspring of half the audience) to the Scotty version of the Monty Python silly walks – the Caesarean crouch crawl, the episiotomy waddle and the designer birth model stroll (boo hiss) – this grown-up gal from the 'burbs had her audience in stitches of the best kind.

Denise Scott has the uncanny ability to make every audience member want to be her friend. You just want to hang out at the stage door and ask her home for a drink or a cup of tea. Make mine a double. Mother Bare is a celebration of life – average, suburban, heartbreaking and hilarious. It is less a stand-up comedy show than a tęte-a-tęte with 300 or so of her new homies. Head to the Arts Centre before April 20 and feel the love.
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Why? A show for anyone who’s ever had a mother.
When: March 27 to April 20 2014
Phone: 1300 182 183
Where: Arts Centre Melbourne, Fairfax Studio
Cost: $30 - $44.50
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