When Liz Kingsman’s brilliantly silly One Woman Show opened at the Soho Theater in 2021, I suggested comedy fans do whatever it takes to get a ticket. Having now enjoyed an enhanced version, I’ll reiterate. In fact maybe even breaking a minor statute if it helps you get to the gig.
In this self-penned monologue with no intermissions, Kingsman plays a satirical version of herself, an aspiring actress filming her solo set, titled Wildfowl, to be sent to a television commissioner. Her unnamed fictional game incarnation in the game works in the London Wetlands Center and her job involves marketing, although she is so nonchalant that she doesn’t quite know what marketing is.
This speed also extends to leisure time. Now approaching his thirties, he talks about his friends who post on social media to get their lives in order—being selected for a mission to Mars, for example—and worries he’s a mess by comparison. She, on the other hand, has one-night stands and doesn’t know where she is in the morning. She luckily she tends to be home and has a hard time working it out.
Kingsman has been observed to be sending out Fleabag – never named but definitely alluded to – and the wider trope of chaotic, silly, messy women, which does a disservice to the genre and perpetuates stereotypes. But this is less of a direct parody, more of a show that works on multiple levels. Kingsman, who originally made her name in the sketch group Massive Dad, has crafted a masterpiece that never misses a trick.
There are inspired moments that convey the theatrical artifice itself. At one point he refers to a ditch on stage that had hitherto been completely invisible to anyone in expensive seats. Elsewhere a key discourse is undermined by a creaky prop. Even crafty sips of water become an excuse for a visual gag.
The script is perfect, from the intentionally overwritten lines about commuting on the ‘Underground Rail Network’ and ‘I’m just remembering’, to spontaneously bursting into the performance poetry or sending romantic love scenes that casually jump from one place to another. other.
While there are clearly political points to how women are portrayed in the art, the serious message wouldn’t be conveyed so succinctly if the wit were less sharp. Kingsman pulls off every comedic twist and turns exquisitely.
Director Adam Brace helps maintain a pace that never lets up. The set consists of little more than a swivel chair that gets its comedic moment in the spotlight towards the end. Although nothing can outshine Kingsman. The number one comedy of 2021 is now also the number one comedy of 2022.
Teatro degli Ambasciatori, until 21 January; buy tickets here