‘Out On A Lim’ was cheeky.
When Ting Lim immigrated from Singapore to Brisbane, she went straight for Logan (hey it was cheap) but her neighbour was a crack addict, the houses were run-down, and that couch she grabbed from the roadside collection may have had some questionable stains, but at least it was free. Ting Lim has created an entire stand-up routine based on the perils faced by those who venture across oceans to the land down-under. The hour-long set, performed in the trendy Heya Bar in Fortitude Valley, traversed stereotypes, the struggles of having parents located internationally, racism, and finding your place as a minority.
Heya Bar was the perfect venue for Ting Lim’s routine. The underground bar, inspired by all things Asian, comes complete with funky thematic decor, authentic cuisine, and no shortage of drinks flowing to keep the atmosphere electrified. Audiences were ushered through to a separate room with a small stage and chairs scattered throughout the area. The space was intimate without feeling intimidating and allowed the small audience to settle into the routine comfortably.
Ting Lim has made a name for herself in comedy both in Singapore and Australia, touring with sold-out shows alongside comedy greats such as Claire Hooper, Frank Woodley, Tommy Little and Demetri Martin. Her dry and down to earth sense of humour connects with Australian audiences while educating crowds on how not to be a douche to people who aren’t ‘Australian’.
Lim told stories of smuggling gum over the border into Singapore, a culturally uneducated woman calling her a Nazi, and her father’s alcohol-fuelled rages in their family home. The routine was cleverly constructed, allowing audiences to let loose and laugh while imparting some of the harsher life truths. Some jokes perhaps leaned a little too heavily on the overdone Australian stereotypes of bin chickens and drop bears. However, the moments which felt a little forced and unoriginal were few and far between.
While the routine roughly followed a linear narrative of Lim’s settlement in Australia, some moments jumped around and were not entirely rooted in the structure of the story. While audiences quickly caught up and attempted to slot the anecdote into context, there were moments where the flow of the piece was briefly lost.
Comedy pieces can easily fall into the rut of being ‘shocking’ and capitalising on moments which highlight flaws of human nature. Lim navigated this line with sensitivity and intelligence, while there were the classic crude jokes and jabs, these were not so frequent as to lower the tone of the performance. The moments which highlighted Lim’s unhappy family situation, or failings of society, were quickly offset by a light-hearted joke which maintained a positive mood amongst the crowd.
‘Out On A Lim’ was a comedy routine which was easy to follow and effortless to laugh at. The message and cadence of the performance were straightforward which allowed audiences to easily settle into an evening of comedy. Lim allowed her crowd to nurse their drinks, have a laugh and be gently challenged about the situations faced by those moving from a foreign country to a land infested by drop bears and bin chickens.
‘Out On A Lim’ performed at the Heya Bar as part of the 2019 Bris Funny Fest. For information on more festival shows visit Bris Funny Fest’s Website.