So that's what an award-winning performer is. Roisin Conaty, Best Comedy Newcomer at the Edinburgh Fringe, was all-too-briefly brilliant at the Soho Theatre on Wednesday night (and, we assume, will continue to be as she wraps up her four day stint this evening).
The support act was pretty good, too. It was Roisin, playing Jackie Hump, a poetically-inclined character in a fright wig who warms up the crowd by pointing to each of its eighty-odd audience members in turn and making them recite their own name, before finishing with a song, "Our Relationship Is Like Monopoly (Nobody Ever Wins)." All of which, oddly, works.
Supporting herself as an incredibly cartoon character is a brave way to start the show, but it sets a precedent. Roisin's style is chatty, informal, and full of self-parody. The whole show feels like having a drink with your funniest mate down the pub, replete with water breaks but most of all, it’s harmless. And not in a bad way: although occasionally breaking into dark territory (Creepy McCreep-person, her unsuccessful flirty alter-ego, being a highlight) there are no digs at easy-targets, no cruelty or shock-tactics. Roisin Conaty is, basically, really funny.
Tonight is the last night of the Edinburgh hit Hero, Warrior, Fireman, Liar, and we urge you to check it out. the material is hilarious, as are the occasional breaks into audience interaction, which, on the night we went, saw Conaty (or rather, Hump) try it on with a 15-year-old boy. Creepy McCreep-person yes, but hilarious nonetheless.
By Joel Golby
See the show tonight, Friday 18th December, 8.00pm at the Soho Theatre, W1, £12