Gap Year... You’re thinking: Contiki tours, bug infested bunk-beds, sunburn, brownies in Amsterdam, criminal hangovers, sandy sex and strange rashes.
But for Fiona O’Loughlin, 'gap year' brings thoughts somewhat different from the philandering escapades of adolescents abroad.
She's thinking of 2016. She's thinking about waking from a life-threatening coma at the age of 52, and the subsequent year she spent negotiating a void where she had no home, no job, no money, and a serious addiction to alcohol.
It doesn’t sound funny. But therein lies the talent of a seasoned comic: exposing humorous brightness onto the relatability of life’s darker sides.
Three years on and she’s bringing her raw and heartfelt standup show back to her South Australian roots. There’s no denying amid a feverish, cheering and glassy-eyed audience that she's more than cherished here – she’s a catalyst for unifying the commonality of the human struggle with genuine vulnerability.
Above all though, she’s a phenomenal storyteller with an impeccable memory. Drawing on moments from childhood to her life after recovery, it’s a humbling experience to share in these beautifully crafted tales of hardship and humour.