Fringe Review: Don't Be A C***: This is How

Words by Freya Langley

Sydneysider, comedian, and kombucha enthusiast, Julia Rorke, took to the stage of Tuxedo Cat to fulfil her destiny of telling people how to be less shit. Don’t be a C***: This is How is a bold, brash, 100% organic, sometimes vegan, always hilarious and infinitely crass self-help guide to unleashing your best person; or rather, not being a shit person.

Rorke, explodes from behind the velvet curtain and the audience strap themselves in for 55 minutes of unrelenting, in-your-face satire. Clad in fluorescent active-wear and a sparkly silver cape, Rorke opens her performance, thrashing her limbs and slut-dropping to an energetic SAFM dance banger. Rorke assumes the character of Dr Julia Greenberg, an inspirational speaker, promising the audience, whom she simultaneously “used to be” and “is just like”, they can get through “da pain, da sorrow and da sadness”, with the help of, Lil Wayne and Christina Milian and of course, “gratiflude”.

Don't Be A C***: This is How is a clever and chaotic commentary of the sheer ridiculousness and ultimate meaninglessness of inspirational, fitspirational, detox tea-pedalling, Instagram brunch-babes. Interspersed within the “self-help” narrative, are self-depreciating, chaotic monologues of drunken misadventures and regret. Rorke drags her audience through her five step guide to becoming their best selves; whether that be through the consumption of 13L of water per day, or showing “gratiflude” for everything from Milo, chairs and curtains to the contraceptive pill. Multitasking is cleverly preached as the supreme rule - a rule which allows for squatting and Bible reading, waxing and phone calls and reciprocated oral sex. Inspirational quotes along the lines of “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain” and “If your friend’s a c***t, then so are you” sarcastically delivered throughout the performance, with a truly comical cynicism. Along the way, Rorke connects to her audience through insults and Atomic Kitten sing-a-longs on a painful journey to the realisation that nothing can save her from herself.

Explosive, unrelenting and painfully relatable, Rorke brings out the best and worst (but mostly the worst) in all of us; leaving her audience doubled over with laughter and questioning whether they hate them themselves or their noisy, sweary self-help guru more. Like hate-watching Freelee The Banana Girl’s self-absorbed, unrealistic spiritual vegan propaganda, but deliberately funny. Rorke exudes confidence and hilarity in all aspects of her show; from her nonsensical shouting to her over exaggerated dance moves - a genuinely hilarious, “take no prisoners” satirical stand-up show, riddled with nihilism and crippling cynicism.

She concludes her performance in a shocking, dramatic display of glitter, coconut oil and lentils.

Catch Don't Be A C***: This is How at Tuxedo Cat for a second round of shows from March 16 to 18. Tickets via FringeTix.