Shivani Thussu: Prefer Not To Say (2 stars)

This article is from 2019

Shivani Thussu: Prefer Not To Say

A satire on the data industry which sometimes clicks

The focus group is almost the ideal format for a multi-character comedy show to prosper. Audience interaction is pretty much built-in, and the inherently stressful situation can lead to characters saying and doing the hilariously wrong thing. In Prefer Not to Say, Shivani Thussu gives us a bolshy character who says the wrong thing, an unbearably shy character who has stumbled into their job but continually does the wrong thing, and others who exist somewhere in-between.

Data company Grople (not so loosely based on a search engine most of the world uses) are putting this conference together with the aim of building a strong team to take on the universe, but the ulterior and inevitably sinister motives behind the focus group begin to ooze out. We also meet Grople's dude-like founder in video links and a rather bitter clothing magnate based on Karen Millen (we know this because she's called 'Karen Millen').

After an initial strong start through the over-confident and sharp-suited group facilitator, genuine laughs are then a little scant. Shivani Thussu has plenty of talent to burn, but her character vehicle here is perhaps not quite the one to get her fully noticed this time around.

Monkey Barrel, until 25 Aug (not 13), 1.20pm, £6 in advance or donations at the venue.

Shivani Thussu: Prefer Not to Say

  • 2 stars

Fight in the Dog Do you have an opinion? Because we'd love to hear it! Shivani Thussu's debut hour is set in a focus group that goes too far. As seen on Pls Like (BBC). One of Funny Women's Ones to Watch (2018). Directed by award-winning comedian Freya Slipper. Audience Participation Age category: 12+