Blocked

“Bye!”, Kate (Laura Curnick) chirps as a disgruntled man with a beer leaves from the front row ten minutes into the set, a rather awkward start to Blocked, which is followed by the gradual downfall of a stand-up comedian.

although an intriguing yet unclear concept, is possibly worth watching on a more atmospheric evening

Kate, oozing with confidence and sassiness, discusses relationships, babies and IVF treatment over the course of three separate comedy sets, with the first resembling a sharp witted middle-aged rant. Kate introduces us to her [imaginary] husband, Tony, in the audience and states we are at the Brighton Dome, although due to the comedic style it is often difficult to understand whether this is part of a gag or the story.

With Direction from Scott Le Crass, the jokes, although at times chortle-worthy, feel similar in content and are often executed with more vulgarity than necessary. Curnick impersonates women from all walks of life, presenting a variety of polished accents with witty characterisations, with the most popular being a middle-class Chelsea “yummy mummy”.

The costumes and set are that of a stand-up show, simplistic and true to the style. Caroline Byrne’s writing shines through during the final poetic speech, providing a touching and honest account of the comedian’s disappointment at her failed IVF treatment. Although tender, the scene is not as gut-wrenching as intended due to the story’s lack of clarity from the beginning.

It’s clear that stand-up comedy relies heavily on an open and participatory audience, which in this case Curnick just did not have. Blocked, although an intriguing yet unclear concept, is possibly worth watching on a more atmospheric evening.

Reviews by Faye Butler

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

A black comedy about the silence society imposes on the infertile, and how a famous comedian's act unravels as she cannot bear to not bear a child. “Curious and effective... skilfully written and handled” (There Ought To Be Clowns). “Comic gem... genuine laugh out loud moments” (Grumpy Gay Critic). “Snappy dialogue and wonderful characters” (Camden Fringe Review).