by Laura Ferguson
Calton drawls through her material languidly, yet she holds an inner strength that I admire. Her words are purposeful and direct, but told in an informal fashion. This makes the narratives of her life absolutely hilarious. She tells us in small bite-size pieces that feel like a conversation that naturally evolves. Calton’s style works so brilliantly because she is succinct, meaning we get a punchline every minute. My cheeks ache with laughter throughout her entire set.
Calton speaks about being a comedian, being a woman, being drunk, and being generally annoyed with people, all with a marked fluidity. She shows me how life gets caught in little eddies, sometimes sucking with the strength of a whirlpool, other jokes show a twinkling gaiety, like a brook sparkling in sunlight. Her jokes breathe into each other like a tide and I love the wave-crashing use of profanity. Her sailor-iffic vocabulary blends into her set like it belongs there. Without them, there would be a worrying calm.
Calton manages all of this with her impeccable sense of timing, she knows just when to pause and when to give. One elongated pause from a recollection of a personal epiphany being one of our favourites, the laughter extending far beyond necessity. By the end of her half, I was clutching my stomach while my friend dabbed away tears from too much laughter, soaked to the chuckling soul with Calton’s comedic talents.
Yay, now Sera Devcich begins entertaining us! Devcich started exactly as I hoped and is very interactive with us. She’s a master of crowd-work, but here she displays an even more phenomenal trait: the ability to talk with us without even directly asking questions. The way she can fully engage us and make us feel part of her set is astounding, and she makes it look so easy! Little beats of “See, he’s nodding his head,” and when someone laughed with the hearty gusto of someone who truly relates, Devcich remarks, “Woah, yeah, they get it,” while cheekily grinning at us.
Devcich truly takes our reactions into account as she goes through her material. I’m in awe of how she has multiple segues lined up to connect the different pieces of her set. She sees how we react to one thing and with a flash of her eyes, she can deviate from her intended path to give us more of what we want. Such adaptability in a comedian is hard to find when jokes sometimes have a set structure and build-up to work. Devcich is just hilarious, no matter the framework of her jokes. I love it and my laughter is constant; my cheeks really hurting now.
Devcich’s stories range from feminism to clever toilet humour (it’s possible! Who knew?!) to gut-bustingly funny tales of parenting. The last is particularly impressive since she made her experiences relatable, engaging and, above all, funny even though she had an entire roomful of childless people. Devcich says so much in her half an hour and leaves us wanting much more.
I think Sera Devcich and Savanna Calton named their show Unstoppable as a tribute to how much we laugh during their performances. To say they succeed is an understatement. I don’t think there was even thirty seconds when I wasn’t laughing at something they said or did. This is what you want in a comedy show: To go away, into the night, extolling with your friends about your favourite bits and laughing even more. With their repeat value being high, I would guess the comedy careers and these two women will be, as their show implies, Unstoppable.
Sera Devcich and Savanna Calton's show, Unstoppable is on at Ivy Bar & Cabaret from the 3rd - 6th of May. You can find tickets here.