Fringe review: Ange Lavoipierre – Zealot

Drenched in jokes delivered at breakneck speed and peppered with philosophical pondering, this ABC journalist turned comedian’s unconventional genesis story is worth a listen. ★★★ ½

Mar 03, 2021, updated Mar 03, 2021

The opening to Ange Laviopierre’s comedy show is unique, but maybe not for seasoned Fringe fans, as she asks the crowd: “Where’s my pants?”

Her semi-biographical story about finding Christianity and falling out of religion starts with her exorcising the Christmas Krampus myth – it’s meant to allegorically represent the heathen she’s become and always was – to an audience spread apart in the open-air Piglet venue in Gluttony.

At first glance, the 55-minute performance seems a linear narrative, but it slowly unravels as a zany retelling of how a young person tangles with not having a higher order in which to believe.

The solo show reels in its audience with characters such as a self-appointed “slutty” Google Maps blue dot and a blazer-wearing ancient church minister, and props including bones and tarot cards.

Lavoipierre even includes excerpts from her pre-teen diary, and asks the crowd to join in singing a self-written hymn, but at points struggles with fighting over other sounds seeping into the open-air venue.

What originally sounds like a stiff and structured script, with Krampus speaking with an at-first off-putting American accent, eventually melts into something more lucid as Lavoipierre abandons the fantastical soliloquy and wins us over with impersonations of her Australian hip-hop-loving former flame and metaphysical pondering.

At the end of her colourful performance, which can best be describes as a kaleidoscopic show filled with costume changes and quick-witted quips, the young comedian explains she’s deafeningly self-aware just how bizarre Zealot is.

She says we should tell our friends but stress it’s a “tall-order”.

Ange Lavoipierre: Zealot is showing until March 7 at The Piglet in Gluttony.

Read more Adelaide Fringe reviews and previews  here.

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