Naomi Petersen: I Am Telling You I'm Not Going
Anxiety explored through song, storytelling and characters
This article is from 2016.
She lives in a theatre and suffers from agoraphobia. You won't be allowed to forget this running theme of Naomi Petersen's debut stand-up show, a big-hearted hour of wellbeing, strength and Pizza Express. Petersen runs through her life, throwing storytelling, songs and character comedy into the hotpot of loss, anxiety, bullying and rejection that has led to her current predicament.
Taking on a number of mantles (her grandfather, the bitchy girl at school, the hot guy she blows it with) shows her ability, but her overly impassioned songs about burying her hamster and seducing an audience member are where her comedy really comes to the fore. A flair for the over-dramatic is matched by her singing voice, and the songs are brilliantly funny.
It's ambiguous just how much of her manic, clingy persona is a creation, but you're permanently on Petersen's side, which is handy when it come to the climax. That finale is a bit earnest, but she's so likeable that you won't mind. I am Telling You I'm Not Going is an interesting exploration of mental illness from a relatable character who doesn't feel the need to gloss over the awkward and the unbearable.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 29 Aug, 3.30pm, £7.50–£9.50 (£6.50–£8.50).