Laura Davis: Ghost Machine, Underbelly Cowgate, Review

Submitted by Erin Roche on Thu, 9 Aug '18 10.24am
Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Laura Davis
Running time

A cheerful ghost welcomes you into an Underbelly Cowgate bunker, flapping its little ghost arms and shimmering the fairy lights under its linen body. What starts out as a kitschy gag, an IKEA bed sheet with two holes cut out for eyes, transforms into an existential crisis comedy hour with Laura Davis. You may not be able to physically see her, yet you’re still howling at her jokes.

The clever thing that Laura Davis has managed to do with her bed sheet is to remove any bias, and there’s always some, if unconscious, bias. Joking, but touching on something very true, Davis jabs, “people would rather listen to the political opinions of a ghost than a woman.” Once she’s gained your favour, she does remove the sheet, this act feeling like quite an intimate move, especially as she shines a red light in your eyes and asks, “So why don’t you kill yourself?”

Laura Davis’ ghost costume is very fitting for the subjects she explores: essentially, “What are we?” and “Why are we?” Delving into her very dry day job, she makes you both laugh and feel, even when you can’t see her face, which is wildly impressive. There is plenty of audience interaction, which can vary in success depending on the bravery of the crowd, but it doesn’t matter if the masses are mute; Davis is delightful, even in her tangents and open-ended questions.

Laura Davis: Ghost Machine is personal and dizzying. 800 thread count level work.

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