Presented by Lori Bell Comedy
Reviewed 21st January 2021
After some minor COVID-19 related delays, award winning Adelaide comedian Lori Bell hit the stage of Diverse-City for her Feast Festival showing of Pregnancy and Purgatory.
Bell has been a part of Feast Festival for many years including as host of the Comedy Gayla and appearances as her character Granny Flaps. Her comfort with the local Feast crowd showed with the relaxed mannerisms and calm initial flow to the show.
For this latest show, Bell takes the crowd through the journey toward parenthood, from how she met her partner and on to all the options and processing available for a lesbian couple to become pregnant.
It does begin with a sensible warning that becomes clear after the lead up short, comedic anecdotes. From there all the gory details peek through as humorously graphic notes on home-based insemination and onto the realities of IVF treatments.
There is an evolution from previous shows in her overall comedy in terms of angle to the style and central themes within the set. It appears with Pregnancy and Purgatory not holding back on details in terms of time and expenses required to have a child, while throwing in a few of the ‘oldies but goodies’ sex jokes for good measure.
The struggles of IVF cycles and pregnancy loss are not bypassed in order to avoid grim tension but rather incorporated as the main narrative flow that humanises and knits together an incredible and personal comedy set. The show is blunt in its honesty at times but thoroughly captivating with a constant undercurrent of wit and entertaining humour. It has great pace overall with the comedic intent constantly present throughout the darker themes.
Bell is an excellent, hilarious local comedian. She’s presents comfortably on the local stage with strong connection the audience. Her shows are always a great night out and highly recommended. Pregnancy and Purgatory, even with some of the casualness and quick connection of a home crowd, is easily up there as one of Bell’s best hours of comedy yet.
The Feast Festival 2020 rescheduled comedy season has ended but there will soon be opportunity to catch Lori Bell and Granny Flaps in their respective upcoming Adelaide Fringe Festival seasons.
Reviewed by Alex Dunkin
Rating out of 5: 5