Abigoliah Schamaun: It's Pronounced Abigoliah Schamaun
- Suzanne Black
- 1 August 2014
This article is from 2014.
Ballsy sexcapades and childhood reflections form the basis of this candid Edinburgh Festival Fringe show
Last Fringe, Abigoliah Schamaun’s Subtle offered a mix of raunchy sex anecdotes and sideshow freakery. A feat involving a needle and Schamaun’s flesh resulted in at least one woman fainting. This year, the fiery American leaves the pain pranks and instead turns inward for a series of reflections on her childhood.
From embarrassing incidents to the relationship she had with her parents, she looks back at the factors that defined her life and, evaluating her current self, gives something akin to a State of the Abigolian Nation assessment. No story is too painful for this full-on performer as she drops a bombshell about an early childhood diagnosis and, returning to it repeatedly throughout the hour, works through her parents’ resultant course of action.
Delivered with gusto, Schamaun adds further material, culled from conversations with her mother and a recent move to London, into the mix. Through sheer force of personality she somehow makes it all stick. Sex isn’t completely off the table this year and she unabashedly relives graphic encounters; not afraid to be challenging, her ballsy persona is undercut with warmth making her sexcapades some of the show’s highlights.
All of this is framed within the sharing of a file of her juvenilia compiled by her father. Childhood wishes, photographs, conversations and mementoes stack up to provide the picture of a father’s recollections and expectations. While Schamaun tries to evaluate her current place in life, she measures herself against the child formed by and wished for in her father’s file. The result is a touching tribute to the formative influence of her parents, their hopes for her and their support.
Schamaun emerges as a genuinely interesting person who gives the appearance of living up to the sexy, confident, capable persona she presents onstage, a persona it is in everyone’s interests to get to know better.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, 622 6552, until 24 Aug (not 11), 6.45pm, £8.50--£10 (£7.50--£8.50).