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Celia Pacquola shines in 'All talk'

 ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

With only a handful of shows at the famed Comedy Theatre, Celia Pacquola wastes no time in giving her audience some insights into the life of a 35-year-old flat-sharing Melburnian. She does self-deprecation in a way that’s never too obvious – stories of her sexual escapades being likened to the sound a small dog crying and scratching at the door, the differences between ‘two beer Celia’ and ‘six beer Celia’, and reaching an annoying level of fame.

As a regular fixture on Have You Been Paying Attention and co-creator/star of ABC’s Rosehaven, Celia might seem familiar enough but you’ll quickly forget anything you might’ve seen her in. With her hilariously insightful take on her life stage and her place in the world, it’s no surprise that she’s clearly more at home performing stand-up than anywhere else.

Pacquola's strongest bit outlines the peak of her struggle with anxiety and depression in 2017. There’s a heart problem after exercising, a brutal pros and cons list, and a ridiculous moment of clarity at a wellness retreat. Celia never stops at her first punch line. Stories take unexpected turns as she puts us inside her head for every thought and emotion that goes into her decisions.

Celia uses every one of her 60-plus minutes onstage, getting huge laughs, epic applause, and giving sore cheeks from over-smirking. I like Celia’s kind of comedy – comedy that artfully straddles serious and silly. Go see Celia Pacquola. All Talk is a show that deserves to be seen.

By Ryan Najelski