Note: This review is from the 2022 Fringe

“This is not an angry show,” Australian comedian Laura Davis makes clear. They sound just a little angry when saying so, but they are right. If This Is It is not about someone who hates the world, but someone who loves the world and hates the thought of it being ruined by the greedy, feckless few. To hammer home the point, Davis has devised a blistering powerhouse of a show that gives stand up a sense of urgency and significance that it doesn’t always have. Above all else, it is back-breakingly funny, with the award-winning comedian ensuring their audience are laughing maniacally by the time the curtain comes down on a sensational hour of comedy.

Davis’ frenetic onstage energy is matched only by their evident talents at scripting stand up. For a performance of such apparent and gleeful chaos, it has structure and purpose. The gags, stories and quips come thick and fast but never without a point, and Davis is able to make searing, hilarious observations on the state of the world. Gender politics, environmentalism, and the future of the arts all find their way into If This Is It without even really trying. Such subjects are cannily weaved into an achingly funny show that dares you to find value in yourself. As you do so, everyone around you will be crumbling into a heap with laughter, and you won’t be far behind.

If This Is It never lets the audience rest easy, upending expectations with Davis’ observations and antics. To say it is brave is perhaps a bit patronising, but there is a boldness underpinning Davis’ approach that makes their performance all the more amusing to witness. Even if you are not convinced in the early stages, slowly they turn the screw more and more until you find yourself in hysterics – sometimes due to disbelief, but mostly because Davis is a practiced master of their craft.

If you needed a lesson on why the future of comedy is worth protecting, Laura Davis is that lesson. An insightful, occasionally moving and always entertaining set sees Davis make more astute, accurate statements about the state of things than just about anybody else dares to. And they do so while making you laugh, whoop and holler with glee. Davis proves to be an expert in finding light in utter darkness, hope in the weakest moments, and boundless joy from seemingly nowhere.