Lawrence Mooney in Lawrence of Suburbia

By Daniel Sheppard. 

If I was asked to list the most underrated cotmedians in Melbourne, I’d immediately jump for Lawrence Mooney. Everybody seems to know  vaguely  of  Lawrence, with his constant presence on TV and radio but despite the accolades of his peers, he’s never really reached the fame that his talent deserves. Lawrence of Suburbia is yet another showcase of his prodigious talent, and a perfect opportunity for everybody to observe a master at work.

Lawrence is a fantastic storyteller, painting scenes from the suburbs in extraordinary detail. His evocative description of a suburban fish and chips shop in particular was completely immersive, with the perfect blend of nostalgia and humor. Equally, his descriptions of suburban mothers, bike riding and mixed lollies creates an unmistakable image of the 70’s suburban world. Combined with this storytelling is Lawrence’s amazing character work, slipping between childhood wonder and drunken tradesmen without missing a beat. The expressiveness on his face as he recreates the aggressive suburban bogan is astounding.
However, this show is more than just an onslaught of nostalgia for the suburbs of the past. After taking the audience back to the suburbs, Lawrence takes us on his own personal journey of leaving the suburbs and heading into the city. Through university infatuations, sharehousing and the exhaustions of growing up, the tale is brought full circle as Lawrence meets his current partner and heads back out into the burbs. We get to experience his new world without the glare of nostalgia as he settles back into the suburban world.

Lawrence provides a delightful mix of comedy styles, with his storytelling, character work and aspirations to high theatre combined with his willingness to throw in a dick joke when it’s called for. With his natural style, it would be simple to think that Lawrence is just making easy jokes, but it’s just so comfortable on the stage that he makes it look easy. There’s a depth, intelligence and real emotion to that underlies all the humour in the show, but without ever becoming overbearing. Lawrence provides the audience with the quick and easy laughs, but if you want to invest more deeply in a show, there’s a depth here that will carry you through as well.

Normally when somebody asks me to recommend them a comedy show, it’s a long involved process of finding out their likes and dislikes, but this is one of those rare shows that makes the process easy. Whether it’s young or old, newcomers or comedy tragics, this is truly a show that will leave everybody laughing.
Lawrence Mooney is performing Lawrence of Suburbia at Arthurs Bar at Rosati