If you’ve ever wanted to listen to someone rattle off a list of seemingly trivial yet incredibly serious problems for 55 minutes, then Ange Lavoipierre’s ‘I’ve Got 99 Problems and Here’s an Exhaustive List of Them’ is the show for you!
A journalist for the ABC, two-time Adelaide Fringe Fest Best Comedy Weekly Award Winner, and former co-host of the A+ current affairs podcast The Signal, Lavoipierre’s one-person show is a weird and wonderful look into the brain of one of Australian comedy’s real rising stars.
‘I’ve Got 99 Problems and Here’s an Exhaustive List of Them’ opens the same way you’d expect any comedy show with such a long and descriptive title to open – with Lavoipierre doing a butt-first shimmy out of the wings while dressed like a spider. What follows is an awkwardly hilarious ‘striptease’ before Lavoipierre launches into a brief explainer of the show and a rapid-fire listing of the first 30 or so problems on her incredibly long list. Wherever you thought this show was going when you sat down, I promise it’s not going there, and that is probably for the best because what Lavoipierre manages to deliver in that 55-minute runtime is heaps better than your imagination anyway.
In the tight and cosy confines of Melbourne’s The Butterfly Club, ‘I’ve Got 99 Problems and Here’s an Exhaustive List of Them’ is able to take on a really immersive and larger-than-life persona. The small nature of the venue also lends itself perfectly for the audience participation portions of the show, allowing people’s voices to carry really well with no extra effort (no spoilers for this section, because you absolutely HAVE to experience that part for yourself).
Any avid listeners of The Signal (RIP) and Lavoipierre’s other radio presenting work like Triple J’s Hack, know that she is an incredible storyteller, and she loses absolutely none of that skill when performing live. Lavoipierre’s narrative structure is super strong and consistent throughout ‘I’ve Got 99 Problems and Here’s an Exhaustive List of Them’. Every falter and stumble feels carefully crafted and the one-liners are just zingy enough to recapture attention without derailing the whole story.
As ‘I’ve Got 99 Problems and Here’s an Exhaustive List of Them’ is a one-person, minimal prop monologue show, Lavoipierre’s story is supported by some clever audio additions from the A/V tech who is asked to play a bell sound every time she lists off a problem, which actually does stay funny despite being very gimmicky, and the voice of the Duo Lingo app’s French AI randomly announcing phrases that are a little too specific.
Yes, it’s all a bit silly, but in the midst of all the silliness (remember, full home-made spider costume) ‘I’ve Got 99 Problems and Here’s an Exhaustive List of Them’ is actually quite insightful and subversive as it tackles the minor problems of gender, internalised misogyny, career crisis, socialising after a pandemic, and bad relationships as well as the most serious issue of all: Why is Ange being followed by spiders?
Ange Lavoipierre‘s ‘I’ve Got 99 Problems and Here’s an Exhaustive List of Them’ is playing as part of the 2022 Melbourne International Comedy Festival at The Butterfly Club until the 13th of April 2022.
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