How much can you expect from a free comedy show at the Brighton Fringe? A lot, as it turns out, as comedienne Luisa Omielan, fresh from her critically applauded touring show
How much can you expect from a free comedy show at the Brighton Fringe? A lot, as it turns out.
Her new material is not all she exhibits in this hour long show, as she gives the lucky audience an empowering strip tease whilst preaching a message of bodily love. This act could have been perceived as a bit ‘done before’, however Luisa’s effervescent personality – which simultaneously manages to come across as incredibly intelligent whilst remaining instantly relatable – created an atmosphere wherein what she was preaching was not only spot on, but effortlessly hilarious.
Her addressing of the trials and tribulations of being a woman in contemporary society was incredibly exciting, not only working hard to mock gender boundaries but also, in a way, enforcing stereotypes as to remind everyone of their humanity. Her discussion of the typical ‘women, they’re crazy’ lad-culture motto entailed her breaking down the hilarious possible catalysts to this phrase, and ironically positioning the natural emotional response to a situation with the word ‘crazy’. This led to a fast-paced, high energy sketch, with Luisa’s re-enactments of her past being by far her strongest device. She quickly switched up the comedy vibe in the room, from the ludicrous, screwed up faces of the characters in her stories, to life-affirming discourses on mental illness, whilst peppering the piece with references to movies, songs and pop culture – often taking the time to boogie around the crowd and leap on unsuspecting individuals.
As a work in progress, I appreciate that it was not yet a completely well-rounded piece. It was plagued with unfortunate technical problems that Luisa styled out excellently with her relaxed attitude to the show itself. The only part of the performance that I thought maybe didn’t work was a section involving Luisa discussing the rollercoaster of a contemporary relationship, using different songs to illustrate each change in relationship dynamic. The only reason I say this didn’t work is that – whilst very funny – the songs were slightly clichéd and over-familiar, maybe being a little too reliant on the ‘Bridget Jones’ style humour that Omielan usually encapsulates in a beautiful and original manner.
All in all, the show was an excellent reminder of the ‘diamonds in the rough’ value that the free Fringe can have to offer. Luisa’s small, idiosyncratic performance entranced the audience and she was wonderfully relatable – rarely have I seen such a show with that level of support and recognition from a crowd (I definitely saw a few fist pumps amongst the spectators). I will be one of the first to grab a ticket for the finished piece in Edinburgh this summer, and Brighton Fringe is an amazing place to see this seriously fresh, intelligent and vibrant performer do what she does best for free!