Gliding in wearing a mint green and lace floaty dress, Andrea Hubert appears calm and somewhat airy as she walks out onto the stage. When she opens her mouth, a honeyed upper-middle class tone says “I was in Waitrose…” Thankfully, it’s not an observational string of ‘Overheard in Waitrose’ remarks. Hubert herself admits that observational comedy is not her strong suit. “I’m not always sure what’s real…” she begins. That much is clear from the outset. When the faint sound of a busker begins mid-way through her set, she pauses for a moment, her eyes drifting off into thought. “Sorry, I got distracted by the warbling.”
Hubert’s hilarious account of her experience with depression is perfectly pitched and more than overdue.
Maintaining a tranquil exterior, Hubert launches into a string of self-deprecating anecdotes on her time (one time) at narcotics anonymous and her twenty-five year experience living with depression, untreated. If Hubert was an element, she would be water: cool and calm on the surface, with deep emotional currents running underneath and definitely the ability to seriously harm someone if provoked. Though the word quirky is often misattributed, Hubert is exactly that: from her clothes to her voice, she’s not at all what you expect.
Hubert’s twenty-five years with undiagnosed depression entirely shapes her set. She shows the audience a world through the polar opposite of rose tinted glass and it’s a hilarious insight. Week, she explains, is a pun on weak: something her mother used to call her. Hubert could not be further from weak. Her callous personality, her penchant for revenge and relish in messing with people is oddly endearing.
Hubert is the friend who could say the most brutal things to your face and get away with it. She proves this in the middle of her set when she asks people to write down something lovely they’ve done for someone, or vice versa, and then proceeds (with only an ounce of apology) to rip these good deeds to shreds. A particular highlight was her response to someone who teaches non-verbal children how to speak; a tear down most might think impossible.
There’s something very therapeutic about the set: her brutal and exposed honesty is refreshing, for both the audience, and, it appears, for herself. Deeply cynical, sarcastic and wonderfully honest, Hubert’s hilarious account of her experience with depression is perfectly pitched and more than overdue.