24 Hours with Mary Lynn Rajskub
The 24 star patches through a likeable debut full of incident and invention
This article is from 2016.
Better known to some as Chloe from TV show 24, Mary Lynn Rajskub proves she also has skills in rubbery faced, relatable, confessional stand-up too. Although the senior intelligence analyst she played in the series was often furrowed of brow and deadly serious (Googling her reveals the nickname 'potato face' on fan forums), Rajskub is far looser and more playful in real life.
Despite her anxiety about Fringe crowds, she's a natural on stage, connecting fast with her audience, although perhaps not with the man near the front who sniggers when she mentions her seven-year-old son is called Valentine. 'I will fucking kill you,' she glares at him, returning once in a while to give him the stink eye.
Zero knowledge of 24 is required, as most of this hour is about Rajskub's personal life; in particular, recent doubts about her husband who was initially a rebound she ended up getting pregnant with and marrying. Mundane details paint a picture of the string of events which brought on a minor existential meltdown: anodyne small talk with her husband about DIY, an overnight stay in a sad looking Holiday Inn in Illinois, having a depressing run-in with one 24 fan in a toilet, lusting after a yoga teacher with a man bun: 'it was the good kind,' she insists sheepishly, backing it up with a quick slide show.
There are lighter, less unhinged shades of Miranda July in her quirky, workaday anecdotes about panic-purchasing a miniature horse in an attempt to reverse her fate, or accidentally hospitalising her son through good intentions. There's no tearful epiphany, no violent car-crash moment: more like a nagging doubt she's driving someone else's car and disappointed by a crushing lack of decent conversation from the passenger seat. Equal parts withering and vulnerable, this is likeably dry, understated, frank and funny storytelling.
Assembly George Square, until 28 Aug (not 15), 8.20pm, £11–£12 (£9–£10).