Maria Shehata: Wisdomless
- Murray Robertson
- 11 August 2017
A plodding and gag-light show in front of a discerning crowd
Maria Shehata is a US comedian from an Egyptian family, and in Wisdomless she explores cultural differences, relates stories of her former life in LA, and details how she met her boyfriend and settled down with him in the UK. Plodding onwards with an enduring smile despite a resolutely indifferent reaction, Shehata expresses surprise at her observation that while US audiences are prone to cheer when she makes upbeat proclamations such as 'I fell in love', UK crowds such as this one tend to sit in silence, waiting for the punchline.
She says this despite the fact we've already established that tonight's throng is a significantly international one with very few Brits in attendance. Perhaps she's not used to such a discerning gathering but it seems reasonable that we might respond more animatedly if she told more jokes during her comedy show.
There are no great stories through this hour and just as many good gags. Shehata fails to bring her anecdotes to life and makes no effort to imbue her characterisations with any personality. There are some interesting observations on her conservative family and nice stories about dating, but this tepid journey has been watered down so much that the jokes are simply too few and far between.
Just the Tonic at The Caves, until 27 Aug (not 14), 8.20pm, £8–£10.