Interview: Lauren Bonner avoids the chaos in ‘Elephant’ for Comedy Festival

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Interview: Lauren Bonner avoids the chaos in ‘Elephant’ for Comedy Festival

Lauren Bonner

Lauren Bonner is making jokes to avoid the hard times.

Her latest show Elephant is a show about chaos, volcanoes, ghosts, and trying to be okay with giving up control. The show runs for the entire Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Lauren popped in to let us know how she deals with the tough times, and what to expect from the upcoming show.

How is this new show, Elephant, different from your previous shows at Comedy Fest?

I think it feels a little more personal, and I suppose I’m still a fairly young Comedian, I mean I’ve been doing it for maybe six years or so I feel like my voice is still developing.  This show feels a little bit mature, more personal and feels a little bit more interesting to me.

Heartbreaker was a show I wrote a few years ago before Covid when I was in my early 20s and dating and all that kind of stuff, but now I’m going a little bit deeper but in a way that I feel is a bit less shallow.

You mentioned you’re a fairly young comic. What have you learned about comedians over the years that you’ve been performing?

I don’t know if it’s a new thing but comedians seem to be taking themselves quite seriously at the moment. I don’t know if it’s the influence of something like Joe Rogan and those guys who are out there to talk about the big issues and all that sort of stuff. It’s funny because it’s comedy – you’re not supposed to take yourself too seriously.

But the ego of a comic is a weird thing, to think you’re going to stand up and people are going to care about what you’re talking about for an hour. It’s a weird thing to do.

What themes are you dealing with in your new show Elephant?

Well, I had a family member pass away and realised I don’t take myself seriously and being an avoidant person and what does that mean and how does that play out. And is it a good thing or a bad thing to make a joke about a serious issue? I talk about what happens when you aren’t in control of something – losing control means that I end up making jokes to distract from a situation.

So for people who haven’t seen your show before, what can they expect?

First and foremost a comedy show, it’s a little bit more personal and there is a little bit more introspection but it’s still a lot of stuff I have been doing at comedy clubs all year and working on.  It’s a fun show that will be an entertaining hour throughout that will hopefully make you feel good at the end of it.

What excites you most about performing at Comedy Fest in Melbourne?

So last year I did the festival for the first time and I only did a two-week run, which was great, it was exhausting just to do two weeks but it also felt like having to go home after the two weeks was a bit of a bummer. This year I’m doing the whole festival, I’ve got 22 shows. It’s exciting that I’ll get to be on stage for that many shows and work on the show and talk to that many people – it’s also a bit daunting. But I’m most excited to see how my show and myself as a performer evolves throughout the whole festival.

Why comedy over another artform?

Well, everything else I was doing I just wanted to be funny, and I’m a big control freak, that comes up a lot in the show, and if you want to have autonomy over something stand-up is the ultimate because it’s just you and that’s it, you don’t need to rely on anybody else, you just turn up and it’s on you. So that is something that people find scary about stand-up because it’s just you and a microphone but I think that’s what I like the most about it.

Favourite heckler moment?

Well, sometimes people will shout, “Show us your tits”, or try and be flirty but I guarantee you they will not be attracted to me after seeing me do comedy. I’m not gross but that’s just the way it is.

Lauren Bonner’s new show, Elephant, is playing at Trades Hall as part of Melbourne International Comedy Festival from Thursday March 31 to Sunday April 24. Find out more information and buy tickets here.