Daily Archives: April 27, 2010

‘All that happened at Number 26’ by Denise Scott

2008, 257 p.

So what does one turn to after finishing reading Hilary Mantel’s stunning Wolf Hall? Why, an autobiography written by someone who feels like a very funny friend, that’s what.  And neither book suffered by the juxtaposition.

Denise Scott is one of the two comedians that I love seeing on Spicks and Specks on a Wednesday night, and if Hamish Blake is on as well then even better!

Denise Scott is my age and she lives a couple of suburbs away.  My stepchildren were involved in some of the episodes of the book, and reading the book is like reading my own life through the eyes of someone much funnier than I am.  I laughed out loud often in this book, much to the disgruntlement of Mr Judge trying to sleep on the other side of the bed.

Nothing really happens in the book- it’s more a series of anecdotes and yarns about family life, marriage, motherhood and daughterhood.  Family is at the heart of this book, but there’s barbs too:  the marriage falls apart at one stage; her mother suffers from Alzheimers; her closest friend Lynda Gibson dies.   She obviously enjoys having young children around her but feels that she is being left behind in her career.  Money was really tight at one stage and you feel a rush of gratitude to whoever it was who left an envelope with $500.00 to tide them over.  She embarks on her comedy career, nauseous with anxiety, but withdraws from the overseas trip that her  fellow-comedians undertake when their act is successful because she doesn’t want to leave her children.

She fears that now that her children have grown up that she has lost her well of family anecdotes, but I don’t think she need worry.  She has that wonderful ability of sniffing out the ridiculous in life and she makes me feel good about being a 50plus year old woman living in Melbourne. And hey, anyone who’s game to appear in public like this will always have a place in my heart!