Review by Lisa Clark
Cait Johnson gave up being a lawyer to become a comedian. Not the first nor last no doubt. She’s introducing herself by presenting us with her business case; will we support her plan?
Cait’s excited about her new PowerPoint set up, presenting a list re-interpreted from one of those awful business self-help books, which is not a bad way to structure a show, if not wildly original. I would love to see her make it work harder and get some extra cheeky laughs from it. Cait does have a lot of great original comedy material, but this choice does say a lot about Cait, her training and business brain, that it is still a big part of who she is and that she hasn’t quite moved on from all of that yet.
There’s a nerdy vibe about Cait and she knows that people expect her to be into gaming etc which she’s not, she’s more of an intellectual nerd and she certainly lives up to that image with the majority of her material. There’s nothing weird or offensive here, Cait is an old school observational comedian. I’m not sure if it was nerves or the fact that lockdown has really shaken the momentum of many comedians’ careers, but the show seemed a bit scattered and lacking a heart, despite the power-pointed structure.
It’s clear that she has a lot of writing experience, the jokes are funny, but her stories are kept brief and at an emotional distance. Even when her world is disintegrating, she remains fairly stoic, looking for the jokes. There is a moment in her show where she puts up a slide that makes the audience gasp. It would make a brilliant core to the performance if she were to build the show around it. An experienced outside eye might help.
I don’t know if Cait really had enough comedy material for a full show. She rushed her delivery at times, passing all too quickly by excellent topics that deserve more of her comedic examination. We really enjoyed the stuff about her bad gigs but would love more juicy details. It sometimes feels more like an amusing engaging lecture than a riotous comedy set, maybe the PowerPoint is actually holding her back.
It was genuinely enjoyable to spend an hour with Cait Johnson. There are great laughs to be had in an entertaining standup show from a new performer with heaps of potential. Take some workmates, it would make a fun opener for a night at the festival.
Cait Johnson performs Kind Regards at Coopers Inn until April 17