Sooz Kempner: Character Activist
A satire-by-numbers romp through four mixed-bag characters
This article is from 2015.
Like tightrope walking and bomb disposal, character comedy requires precision to achieve its ideal goal: to subvert! Whether every stand-up is a character comic of sorts is open to debate, but given that adopting another persona provides an alternative angle to hit the target, what’s not to like?
After focusing in last year’s show on her failed audition for Wicked, this time around Sooz Kempner presents herself as four different characters, including a ditsy Essex girl and an enthusiastic regional sportswoman. So far, so satire-by-numbers, while she never misses the chance to prove she can belt out a tune, something the ‘real’ Sooz is only too happy to highlight during one of the very-meta mid-act links.
But when she wheels out her final character, washed-up musical starlet Nancy Spratt, she really hits the bullseye. A couple of killer punchlines and Kempner hamming up Nancy’s lipstick-smeared delusions of stardom (you’re still big but it’s the pictures that got small, eh Nancy?) make for a strong curtain call. ‘What’s next for Sooz Kempner?’ she asks herself at one point, in a show where the lines between real self and alter ago, target and victim, become increasingly blurred.
Just the Tonic at The Mash House, 226 0000, until 30 Aug (not 18), 6.20pm, free.