Andrea Hubert: Week
A bleak undertaking that is as delicious as it is revelatory
Giving herself the task of turning a lifetime of depression into a one-hour Fringe show, Andrea Hubert points out the inherent difficulty in performing observational comedy from an altered perspective on the world. Her personal recollection of mental illness and recovery definitely covers scenarios that will be unfamiliar to some members of the audience, yet her idiosyncratic observations manage to breach the gap of experience to find recognition in something deeper. Even if we haven't all had a meltdown in a supermarket, many of us have been driven to some degree of rage by the self-checkouts. Depression is bleak and Hubert spares no one and nothing from her excoriatingly nihilistic worldview with anecdotes that are darker than dark.
Armed with an admittedly posh voice and education, her set could easily become an exercise in shock value, but what emerges instead is a highly assured performer with an acute sense of tone. Hubert takes the audience with her not only into the crevices of mental illness but soon has them finding humour in all manner of improprieties. The only misstep is a bit of business with audience interaction that doesn't seem to go anywhere, but this is a blip in a deliciously bleak undertaking.
Gilded Balloon at the Counting House,until 29 Aug (not 15 & 16), 3.45pm, £5 or Pay What You Want.