Luisa Omielan (3 stars)

This article is from 2014

Luisa Omielan

Party girl’s hybrid of winner v loser spills over at Edinburgh Fringe

Last year, we fell in love with Luisa Omielan, and this year she’s gone off us, because we’re not paying to see her (free) show. Like a restaurant owner slopping down plates grudgingly in front of Groupon customers, Omielan seems to resent her crowd, not to mention her venue, because not enough money’s changing hands. How’s the girl supposed to hustle under these conditions? Especially one that is hell-bent on ‘being famous, bitches’?

Maybe she’s just having a bad night, but she declares the space ‘the shittest room on the Fringe’, practically squaring up to audience members who arrive late / need to pee / dare to consider not paying much at the end. ‘Don’t you look me in the eye and give me your shitty coins!’). Diva huffs aside (in fairness, the clue was always there in last year’s show title What Would Beyoncé Do?), party-time Luisa still dominates, and remembers how to work her crowd. Admittedly, they’re a bit stunned after she drops her game-face to bark at a tech guy when her mic plays up, but she seduces them back, lap dancing (literally), twerking and doing grimey, ridiculous shoulder rolls in Spanx and a bra.

Her tough, confessional talk about arrogant alpha men, the shamefulness of slut-shaming (eg Magaluf Girl) or telling US talent agents to do one when they suggest she lose weight, are a reminder of the feisty, savvy, talented one-off below the ‘tude. In fairness to Omielan, the sudden hype from last year’s sleeper show (five-star reviews led to Albert Hall dates and sell-out runs in LA, New York and Singapore), could understandably have been a head-wrecker, leaving her a confused hybrid of winner and loser; this show continues last year’s theme of depression, bad luck with men, and loneliness. It’s still good, gobby, heart-on-sleeve comedy; she just needs to keep calm in stand-up’s less baller moments.

The Counting House, 667 7533, until 24 Aug (not 10, 17), 10.15pm, free.

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The creator of Politics for Bitches and What Would Beyoncé Do takes on religion in her new show.