Kitty Flanagan is not having a bar of your lazy vocabulary

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Kitty Flanagan is not having a bar of your lazy vocabulary


“I’m talking about sex,” Flanagan says. “And algorithms. And the circus. Even tinned tuna. So, something for everyone, really. But maybe leave kids under 15 at home, unless you want them to get a real Flanagan style sex education.”

‘Smash’ is one of those multi-purpose words, like ‘stuff’ and ‘go,’ that can be used in all sorts of expressive-yet-not ways. Smash a drink. Smash out an email. Get smashed. Smash an avocado. “I think it’s a tad overused,” Flanagan says. “People seem to have forgotten there are many other verbs in the English language. You don’t need to smash everything. Smashing is the new ‘awesome’. And I hate awesome.”

Flanagan is a regular face at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and her shows are a must-see – and for Kitty, it’s a chance to get out and experience the joys that come with…not being in Sydney. “For me, as a Sydney person, the MICF is all about the experience of being able to do a show and then actually go out to dinner afterwards,” Kitty says. “I recently did a run of shows in Sydney and we could never get food after the show. Everywhere we went would delight in telling us “Sorry, the kitchen’s closed.” So praise be to Melbourne with its sophisticated culture of late night dining and supper menus.”

Many comedians utterly torture themselves in the process of knocking their material into final shape. A few others don’t seem to know where it comes from: it just seems to fall out of them fully-formed. Where does Kitty fall on that scale? “I rely on my manager to force it out of me,” she says. “He books a small room for a month and sells tickets to a ‘new material’ show that doesn’t exist yet. It’s sort of a ‘gun to the head’ method but slightly less aggressive. Slightly. So I write a show, perform it night after night, replace at least 75 percent of it with stuff that is actually funny, then I take it on the road. And finally, I bring it ‘fully formed’ to Melbourne.”

And that takes us back to Smashing. The show will eventually make its way onto DVD, “once I work out how to remove a few bits about certain family members.”