Having slayed Edinburgh Fringe, Zoe Coombs Marr is bringing Melbourne Comedy Festival favourite Dave – and her Barry Award-winning show – to Sydney
Dave is the male stand-up alter-ego of Sydney playwright, theatre maker and stand-up comedian Zoe Coombs Marr. Or, as she would probably say these days, he is her inner clown. He's got a neckbeard, bogan style, and bad punchlines. Actually he's not very good at stand-up. Or women. Or life.
Dave first appeared in a brief stand-up slot in 2011, and Trigger Warning is the second show that Zoe/Dave have done. The premise of the show is that Dave has been cowed by "feminazis" on Twitter and "angry women" at Edinburgh Festival.
"It was a bit bloody hipster and a long way from the Laugh Hole (Wollongong's longest running tri-weekly open mic night)," Dave told Time Out in 2015. "They hated me. It turns out they wanted bloody lesbian mimes and stories about mental illnesses, so yeah, my battle of the sexes jokes weren't received well."
So Dave decided to throw in the stand-up towel and train as a clown. He returned in 2015 as a fully certified Philippe Gaulier-trained clown, with a silent clowning show: Trigger Warning.
Under the guise of Dave's bumbling incompetence, Coombs Marr skilfully dissects stand-up, clowning and misogyny – with fisting and dick jokes to spare, plus blood, vomit, and bananas.
At this point, Trigger Warning has been through Melbourne International Comedy Festival (where it won the Barry Award and the Gibbo Award in 2016), Edinburgh Fringe (where it scored 4-star reviews from The Scotsman and The Guardian), and a season at London's Soho.
In other words, it's bloody good. If you missed the two shows at Giant Dwarf in July, don't be a dickhead: get on the bandwagon of this tour-de-farce misogyny-busting show.
Time Out Melbourne's review of Trigger Warning at MICF 2016:
"The premise alone, along with Zoe Coombs Marr’s captivating energy, manic facial expressions and surprisingly nuanced performance of her misogynist alter-ego, would be enough to sustain an absurdly enjoyable hour of comedy. But without giving too much away, it soon becomes apparent that this is only the tip of a truly brilliant meta-spiral into a Zoe/Dave identity paradox. Coombs Marr is asking us to follow her (and Dave) into some messy, bizarre places (at one point, Dave is expected to appear on a panel on women in comedy) and every single audience member gleefully jumps along for the ride. It’s insanely intelligent, rib-achingly hilarious stuff."