Fiona O‘Loughlin’s memoir Me of the Never Never (published by Hachette) is a great read for fans of this Australian stand-up comedian and a great introduction to her for those who are yet to learn about Fiona’s witty style.
The first time I saw Fiona O‘Loughlin’s performance was during a comedy gala concert on television four years ago. I look forward to Fiona’s performances. There is honesty and humour in her routine, as she openly discusses her family life with the audience.
Her book reveals what led Fiona to become a stand-up comedian, her love of stories shared by family and friends around the dinner table as part of a large Irish-Catholic family on a wheat farm in Warooka, South Australia. A town so small that her sister once suggested, walking up the main street, ‘to see if we could see a stranger’.
Fiona also describes the dread of starting out as a stand-up comedian. She had to face a terrifying crowd during the Edinburgh Festival right after a much younger Russell Brand had a glass thrown at him by someone in the same dissatisfied audience.
O‘Loughlin is open about her own chaotic family life as a mother of five in Alice Springs. She admits to losing her laptop twice while writing this memoir. Maybe that has something to do with the non-linear structure of this book, which some may find annoying. The issue of structure in my view can be forgiven. I admire Fiona’s style of sharp comedy and casual manner of delivery in her stand-up act, which translates to her writing. She writes as if talking to a friend.
‘I had left Alice Springs and my five kids behind … and cried all the way to Darwin. Partly because I wouldn’t see them again for a whole month, but mostly because I’d left my passport on the kitchen table.’
O‘Loughlin memoir is deep and honest, as she describes her love for her large family and her ordeal of struggling with alcohol addiction.
It is admirable that despite going though her share of dark times Fiona O’Loughlin is one of the busier comedians and working mothers in Australia today. She is on the road for most of the year doing live performances and regular television appearances.
Irina Markovsky is a freelance writer based in Sydney. You can follow her on Twitter @MomentinArt