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Judith Lucy

OTL's Claire Eltringham speaks to Judith Lucy about her new show, Irish Catholic guilt and why she loves dancing with maracas!

Hi Judith. I should warn you there’re a couple of tradies outside the office window making a racket. So, if you hear a loud bang…

I’ll take it completely personally!

You return to Darwin this month. Do you remember your first impressions? *It’s okay to say crocs!

Well, hopefully I’ll be more interesting than that! No really, I love Darwin. I first came for the Darwin Writers’ Festival and, I’m not blowing smoke up my arse, but I’d seen a lot of Australia at that point and Darwin was definitely a place I wanted to visit. But when I arrived, I wandered out of the hotel and honestly didn’t know what I was doing. I ate something pretty average, probably followed by an in-house movie. I must admit, I wondered what all the fuss was about. The next day I realised an old friend of mine lived in Darwin, they took me under their wing and a consequently, I had a ball. The people in Darwin are very friendly.

Did you make it to any of the markets?

Umm, I don’t think so. But that’s probably because whenever I go to Darwin I usually end up pretty pissed and sleep in.

 Your new show is called Ask No Questions of the Moth. That’s an interesting title – where did it come from?

Look, I’d love to suggest there is a deeply hidden theme underneath bunch of cheap gags. [In the lead up to the show] I’d had a particularly bad year so I wanted a title that suggested change and impermanence, but more so just something completely ridiculous and mystifying. It's actually a quote from a 12th Century Sufi Mystic Poem called 'Conference Of The Birds'. The whole quote is, 'I have no questions of my coming or passing away, the whole thing happened quicker than a breath, ask no questions of the moth'.

 From what I’ve read this show was inspired by a fairly atrocious year. When did you learn to turn pain and hard times into humour?

Look, the time that comes to mind was an earlier show called King of the Road. It was inspired by a disastrous trip overseas I had ventured on after being told on Christmas Day that I was adopted. The whole thing was an unmitigated disaster, not entirely surprisingly really.

Would you say humour is therapeutic?

Not really, well not for me. Because I’m the one who’s experienced it. Look everyone has shit happen to them. Everyone get’s drunk and sleeps with the wrong person, has a crazy family and if they haven’t experienced death yet, they certainly will one day. I just think everyone can relate to someone talking about life in this way.

 Well, that leads into my next question. At what stage in your life did you decide to write and say what you wanted?

I wouldn’t say there was a definitive moment as such. Like most comedians – and sorry about the cliché – but it takes a while to find their voice. At some point I just realised I was comfortable talking about personal things…

Has that always been the case?

Well probably, I am a woman. Ha ha. I’ve just never been a fan of secrets. That adoption thingy was very influential on our family, and you know, I come from an Irish Catholic family so there’re always secrets. God knows that was the biggest though. It irrevocably changed our family.

Okay, enough of the serious stuff. Tell me a little more about the show…

Oh you know Claire, it’s hilarious and an absolute must see! It does start with me dressed in a glamorous dress dancing with maracas. And there’s an animation at the end. I didn’t do the animation but it’s got everything this show. You should come and see it!

Well, you’ve got my ticket.


WHEN: Sun 12 Jul | 6.30pm

AT: Darwin Entertainment Centre


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