I’m High On Life What Are You On? is on at The Treasury Cabaret from Wednesday, February 8, ’til Saturday, February 11. Bookings can be made via fringeworld.com.au.
Bonnie Davies grew up in a family that liked to look after others. Her parents were both youth workers, and as such, there were always people around her house, the fact that they were “drug addicts, prostitutes or bank robbers” didn’t register on her radar. It wasn’t until she begun talking to her friends about her unique upbringing that she noticed the potential comedic goldmine that now fills her show, I’m High On Life, What Are You On?.
While it’s nothing new for comedians to draw on life experiences, let alone draw from the virtual free-for-all of family quirks, Davies is careful not to give the wrong impression about her family. “In our house, anyone would come over at any time, there were always people in the house,” she states. Davies’ parents always showed support for the less fortunate, usually young people who didn’t have a stable home life.
It’s from a learned childhood surrounded by youngsters who just wanted what most take for granted that Davies developed a sense of optimism that she admits “gets to the point of annoying for some people”. Optimism characterises Davies’ work and her passion to remain Perth-based after success at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe, has seen the comedian being continually asked whether she is migrating east or not.
But Davies likes being part of the emerging and now busier Perth arts scene, especially during the current Fringe World Festival. “It feels like we’re all running and we don’t really know where we’re running but we’re like ‘it’s gonna be awesome!’.”
Her time performing at the 2010 Edinburgh Fringe can be credited as teaching her major lessons in stand up comedy. “It was like comedy boot camp… I got owned by the audience, it was so great; you can’t be anything but good. You really start cutting down material and rewriting.” And on her return to Edinburgh last year, Davies had dropped the nerves and learned to work the crowd, developing a thirst for audience interaction.
These days Davies is a busy woman, organising comedy nights, representing arts organisations and launching her new show. When asked how her family feel about being material for her comedy act she says they’re “pretty excited” about it, including her 90-year-old grandmother, a great source for quotes, who she says long ago dropped the need for social politeness and tells it how she sees it.
Another source of material for Davies is her father. “My Dad is very excited about the show, I already do some material on him, about how he’s an angry Dad,” and in response to whether this may incite him further she says “he doesn’t seem to care what I say he’s like ‘she’s talking about me, any publicity is good publicity, this is my break! People are noticing me!’.” Even if her Dad doesn’t become a household name, Bonnie Davies will more than likely continue to get noticed.