Olga Koch: If / Then
- Lauren McKay
- 23 August 2019
Highly engineered and funny set about sexism and science
Olga Koch is Russian, a woman, and a computer scientist, with her show being about all of those things. She explores the inherent misogyny in treating women who, like her, work in typically male fields as something different or something to applaud. This exploration is framed in a two-fold narrative about her first love, as well as the titular if / then concept which is key to computer programming.
If that all sounds a bit serious, it's not. Koch is a peppy performer and gets a lot of laughs from a full house as she fires off joke after joke. With strong gags and a tight structure, Koch unsurprisingly comes off as very confident as she quips about Michael Bublé, her handsome brother, her ex's fiancée and more. She regularly cracks up at her own jokes, and there are enough sidebars to add a feeling of spontaneity despite the thoroughly engineered routine.
The ending is the only part of the show that falls flat, as Koch puts her tech skills to use in order to cap things off with big message. It's overly sentimental which jars compared to the laugh-a-minute hour just gone by. Her use of tech to deliver this message is superfluous: she's got enough talent that she doesn't need props as a crutch.
Monkey Barrel, until 25 Aug, 4.30pm, £7 in advance or donations at the venue.