La Bohème
Until 18 Mar 2018

Review by Sarah Westgarth

Claire Healy recently had a sombre moment of self-reflection. On a flight home, she was filling in her passenger information form, when she came to the word “occupation” and was suddenly struck by the fact that she didn’t know what to put in that space. You see, Clare Healy has never had a “real job”. In this cracker of a cabaret show, Healy reflects on her dubious work history, sharing stories from the assortment of casual and temp jobs she’s had. Through stand-up and original songs, “(Get A) Real Job” is a hilarious exploration of one woman’s quest to answer that dreaded question, “What do you do?”

Healy brings the laughs from start to finish. Her energy never wanes once, and the audience is instantly on her side as she regales them with the highlights from her resume, which includes being a tennis arena tour guide, and busking in Croatia. She is witty and delightfully self-deprecating, and just the right amount of crass. The tales she tells are enchanting, and then she’ll seamlessly transition into song, continuing to wow the crowd with her versatile and extraordinary pipes. Music can be seen as a crutch in comedy, but not so here: the numbers only enhance the narrative she weaves, and manage to be both funny and insightful, with a few moments of true beauty.

While on the surface this could be seen as simply a collection of amusing anecdotes, there’s also some real poignancy to it all: how can we move beyond being defined by our profession? What kind of courage does it take to live an artistic, theatrical life? What ultimately drives the choices we make that lead us to our destiny? Claire Healy may not know the answers to these questions, but in trying to figure it all out, she manages to be both hilarious and heartfelt.

“(Get A) Real Job” deserves to be playing a packed house every night. You’ll leave with a smile on your face, a warm feeling in your heart, and hoping Healy releases an album of those songs.

Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)