Words: Alex Grunberg
Maria DeCotis enters the stage with a smirk on her face that hides a secret. As she pulls us into the imagination of Lynn, a 62-year-old woman trying to regain control over a lost life by reimagining herself as a youthful comedian, we learn that the secret she hides is a deep sorrow.
Audience members expecting a traditional stand-up routine will be in for a surprise. This is a show about stand-up, not as a platform for telling jokes, but as a platform for being heard. Through the structure of stand-up comedy, Lynn forces us to reckon with the reality of who gets the opportunity to speak and whose voices are silenced, who gets to cast their dangerous behaviour as ‘quirky’ and who is punished for their mental health crisis.
While I started the show a little off-kilter, unsure how what I was viewing was meant to be consumed, I ended the show close to tears for a woman who does not exist. But even more so, I was moved by the truth of Lynn’s story, and all the very real women like her who do exist without a stage, without a platform, unheard.
Before the Drugs Kick In
theSpace @ Surgeon’s Hall, Theatre 2