Tag Archives: Karla Gowlett

RACHEL PARRIS: POISE

★★★★

Leicester Square Theatre

RACHEL PARRIS: POISE at Leicester Square Theatre

★★★★

“a clever and entertaining evening”

Rachel Parris hits a lot of classic millennial comedy topics: home ownership, tackling anxiety, the pressures of female perfection. But she does so with a slick confidence, and a consistency which makes her stand up shine.

Her freshest, sharpest jokes are in her patches of satire, as fans of The Mash Report will attest. In Poise she combines topical comedy (maybe national service could be utilised to tackle the childcare crisis) with some bits which are obviously older, her last tour was five years ago. Songs about Liz Truss and the queues at Dover are less topical now, but are still funny, and bring a warm nostalgia to the show.

Her particular brand of comic feminist song brought her prevalence on podcasts like The Guilty Feminist and these work well live, weaved into the whole show. She sits at the piano, belting out memorable songs like ‘What do Women Want?’ (Parris suggests it’s gloves…) and her take on the iconography of the Bond girl, which is a showstopping end to the night.

It’s not only politics though. Parris lays her trepidation about turning 40 bare – admitting her life is in a far better place than on her last tour. She is used to putting her personal life on display, she’s married to fellow comic Marcus Brigstocke, with whom she has a podcast ‘How Was it For You?’ But this show is carefully crafted, allowing the audience windows into her life, without ever going too deep, or baring too much.

Some parts are stronger than others, an a cappella folk number about the wisdom she’s gained with age is a weird note towards the end, though ties the themes together neatly.

There could be more of an overarching story across the show, but as a series of bits, broken up by comic songs which showcase her impressive vocal skills, this makes for a clever and entertaining evening.


RACHEL PARRIS: POISE at Leicester Square Theatre

Reviewed on 5th June 2024

by Auriol Reddaway

Photography by Karla Gowlett

 

Rachel Parris is touring with Poise until 20th October – click on the image below for tour dates and tickets

 

 


 

Previously reviewed at this venue:

SH!T-FACED SHOWTIME: A PISSEDMAS CAROL | ★★★★★ | November 2023
THE AYES HAVE IT! THE AYES HAVE IT! | ★★★★ | November 2023
SH!T-FACED SHAKESPEARE®: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING | ★★★★★ | July 2023
SHIT-FACED SHAKESPEARE: ROMEO & JULIET | ★★★★ | July 2022
A PISSEDMAS CAROL | ★★★★★ | December 2021
SH!T-FACED MACBETH | ★★★★★ | July 2021

RACHEL PARRIS

RACHEL PARRIS

Click here to see our Recommended Shows page

 

Flat & the Curves

Flat & The Curves

★★★★★

Toulouse Lautrec

Flat & the Curves

Flat & The Curves

Toulouse Lautrec

Reviewed – 8th July 2022

★★★★★

 

“Even IKEA is not safe from these satirical sirens”

 

Flat and the Curves are an enterprising quartet of entertainers who will remind you of the iconic Fascinating Aïda. Flat and the Curves have powerful voices, with lots of range, and can belt out a tune in anything from opera to ABBA. They bring both an old-fashioned glamour, plus a more modern Gen Z vibe to the cabaret stage. But there the comparison ends. Where Fascinating Aïda was the kind of girl group you could take your granny to, Flat and the Curves? Maybe not. Then again, grannies these days know how to get their groove on, so perhaps you should gather up your favourite grans and take them to see Flat and the Curves for a raunchily good, girls night out. “Family” fun this group is not. Flat and the Curves are an anarchic group of singer/comediennes calling out the habits of cis/het men and dumping them, metaphorically speaking, in the trash. And it’s about time.

This talented group is Arabella Rodrigo, Charlotte Brooke, Katy Baker and Issy Wroe Wright. If the names seem familiar, that’s because these performers already have impressive musical comedy resumés. And it’s a genius move to put them together as Flat and the Curves. The songs in this pre-Edinburgh Festival show range from memories of meeting a female soulmate in the loo (as you do), to not so soulful memories of “being taken up the Shard” on one’s anniversary. Don’t make me go there. There is a song with a 90s vibe about menstruation — a “period” piece according to Arabella— and again, don’t make me go there. There are lots of songs about sex, not surprisingly, including a clever riff using Glenn Miller’s Chattanooga Choo Choo to sing about hen dos. There are songs about dating apps. “You’re the App of My Eye.” “Get Me Some Romance” is a heartfelt torch song begging men to be gentlemen. It almost tops the brilliantly operatic rendition of an earlier song about porn, entitled, and I kid you not, “When A Woman Comes First”. Most of the songs in this show are about living in a world with men and their less endearing habits. Flat and the Curves call them out soundly. Think these ladies won’t go there? Think again. Even IKEA is not safe from these satirical sirens.

In short, Flat and the Curves are all about presenting a hugely entertaining evening. But they’re also educational. No really. I learned a lot. And I’m sure the men in the audience did, too. Even in a super warm cabaret space with noisy fans that did nothing to lower the temperature, the audience still jumped to its feet and applauded loudly at the end of the show. I confidently predict that Edinburgh will welcome Flat and the Curves just as enthusiastically.

 

Reviewed by Dominica Plummer

Photography by Karla Gowlett

 


Flat & The Curves

The show is at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 16th to 28th August

 

Did you see these shows we reviewed in June?:

Cancelling Socrates | ★★★★ | Jermyn Street Theatre | June 2022
Evelyn | ★★★ | Southwark Playhouse | June 2022
Favour | ★★★★ | Bush Theatre | June 2022
Hen | ★★★ | Hope Theatre | June 2022
Machine de Cirque | ★★★★★ | Peacock Theatre | June 2022
Mad House | ★★★★★ | Ambassadors Theatre | June 2022
Serse | ★★★★ | Opera Holland Park | June 2022
Starcrossed | ★★★★ | Wilton’s Music Hall | June 2022
The Fellowship | ★★★ | Hampstead Theatre | June 2022
Unfortunate: The Untold Story of Ursula the Sea Witch | ★★★★ | Underbelly Festival | June 2022

 

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