Naomi Karavani: Dominant (2 stars)

This article is from 2019

Naomi Karavani: Dominant

Rambling and esoteric hour that needs an overhaul

New York comedian Naomi Karavani starts her set with an inauspicious introduction that sets the tone for a long hour that needs a lot of work. She explains that she's not as prepared as she would like to be and frequently refers to a notebook to get back on track. Her inability to focus on the material is possibly compounded by its lack of structure. While it might be refreshing to see a comedian avoid the usual tropes of a Fringe show (a story, jokes, call-backs), Dominant is a meandering mess.

Tonight's preview show is an education for Karavani as she works out which of her references a 'European' audience understand. 'That's a very New York joke,' she says when one of her tales is met with stone-cold indifference. Much of the material about her home town and details of the Superbowl are far too esoteric for a crowd outside the US.

Towards the end, referring again to her notes, she says 'I forgot a joke' without a hint of irony. This is a rambling set, bereft of punchlines and in need of serious rebooting. 'We're almost done here guys,' she promises near the end of the show, before adding 'I think it's you, not me.' It's her.

Just the Tonic at Marlin's Wynd, until 25 Aug (not 12 & 13), 8.05pm, £7 (£4–£5) in advance or donations at the venue.

Naomi Karavani: Dominant

  • 2 stars

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