Stand-up: seduction and susceptibility

In the recent flowering of online theatre, it is clearly the monologues and the Zoom formats that best suit the restrictions of the streamed experience. These front facing pieces resemble the direct address of stand-up, and prompt speculation about the similarities and differences between the two art forms. Often in such comparisons, stand-up is characterised… Continue reading Stand-up: seduction and susceptibility

Jordan Brookes: deconstructing stand-up

Stand-up is often prized for its transparency, and its lack of artifice; up there alone on stage, there’s nowhere to hide, and comedians must acknowledge their embodied identities. There’s transparency too in the relationship with the audience – the comedian’s need for an audience is perhaps uniquely evident: as John Limon puts it, ‘they make… Continue reading Jordan Brookes: deconstructing stand-up

Lucy McCormick: added trauma

Lucy McCormick’s recent Fringe show, Post Popular, reprises the comically narcissistic persona used in her 2016 show, Triple Threat, but this time with added trauma. ‘Lucy’ was more broadly comic in the first show, but now there are hints of a darker backstory: she mentions the death of her father and there are oblique references to an… Continue reading Lucy McCormick: added trauma

Richard Gadd, Baby Reindeer

Richard Gadd’s solo show, Baby Reindeer, which is just completing its run at the Edinburgh Fringe, has some similarities with Hannah Gadsby’s work. Both artists can only loosely be described as comedians at this point in their respective careers, given their preoccupation with explicitly traumatic material. Comedians have long used the often painful intimacies of… Continue reading Richard Gadd, Baby Reindeer