Did you know Melbourne had the longest lockdown in the world? Judith and Denise know because they were fucking there. And so, of course, were the Melbourne audience at the opening night of their two-woman return-to-comedy show, Still Here.
The performing arts has gone in-and-out of existence in Melbourne over the past two years and reflections on lockdown and the pandemic have appeared in various forms over that time. Festivals popped up in person and online and while we’re not out of the woods yet, at least we’re out of our houses.
Judith Lucy and Denise Scott have a lot to make fun of looking back at 2020 and 2021 – foregrounding the fact that they haven’t been able to work at all and in their advancing years, having more time to reflect doesn’t always lead to great outcomes. Denise is stuck at home with her husband of 41 years, who refuses to listen to her when he’s preparing for a colonoscopy. And Judith’s only adventures are a back-alley haircut and occasionally seeing her physical therapist, the only form of male attention she’s had for two years.
I’m glad we’re at the stage where we can laugh about lockdowns and curfews and the loopholes for not wearing a mask outdoors – coffee and jogging. Though occasionally some of the jokes made me wince because a lot of the pandemic hasn’t been funny and maybe it is “too soon”.
The pair are raucous and entertain with dance numbers and costume changes and witty one-liners all topped off with a Stephen Sondheim song. Director Stephen Nicolazzo keeps everything on track, turning Jude and Scotty’s anarchic stage presence into a tight 60 minutes of fun. They’re still here and Australian audiences will be thoroughly entertained, even though only Melbourne can appreciate all the jokes.