Clara Bijl: Internationally Unknown
- Brian Donaldson
- 17 August 2019
This article is from 2019
A limp hour from a performer oozing with confidence
This French-Iraqi stand-up with a Dutch surname and American accent (and a distinctly US 'tude) certainly has the breadth of life-experience to offer unique insights upon the world (she's also lived in Switzerland, Germany and South Carolina). But sadly Clara Bijl's show is packed with limp observations and tired analogies that fail to make their mark in front of a sparse but patient crowd.
She asks us all where we're from but has little to say in response, making you wonder why she made the effort to enquire. And at one stage she brings up her spouse before admitting with a sigh, 'I got nothing to say about my husband'. There's a bit about laughter being the best medicine which adds nothing to the dozens of comics who have used that cliché for a gag while she plunges awkwardly through a routine about the personality which a French Alexa would take on: stroppy, arrogant and ultimately unhelpful. Still, if you're going to lazily dump on a nation, it might as well be the one you're half from. Clara Bijl has confidence in spades, but the writing is far from great shakes.
Just the Tonic at The Mash House, until 25 Aug, 2.10pm, £5 (£4) in advance or donations at the venue.