Embarrassment is an inconvenience I imagine most people can relate to; we all have an experience we look back at through cringey glasses and would much rather forget about.
The show is an excellent portrayal of a simple, but life-defining emotion, beautifully crafted, slightly absurd but side-splittingly delivered by all involved.
In How to Cope With Embarrassment we are told the story of a 42 year old ‘Lady in Red’ named Lucy, whose life has been totally dictated by humiliation, due to an angry and embarrassed witch deciding to curse her with the affliction from birth till her 43rd year. If by that time Lucy hasn’t lifted the curse of embarrassment, it will be with her forever. Mysterious clues are left for us and Lucy about how to break free of the curse on the eve of her 43rd birthday, including an elaborate riddle and a stick of butter to dig into.
The show is performed by two narrators and our protagonist; the former seamlessly navigate the audience through the narrative and masterfully regale us the story with pomp and ceremony, transitioning into different characters as and where needed with ease. Lucy is fantastically relatable; constantly red in the face, never breaking her nervously giggling, ever-so-slightly painful character throughout. The show is an excellent portrayal of a simple, but life-defining emotion, beautifully crafted, slighltly absurd but side-splittingly delivered by all involved.
A definite highlight of the show is the date Lucy goes on with an unwitting participant; it is this scene that truly displays how gifted these performers are, and their comedic talent is undeniable. They know exactly how to play it, when to leave a joke to sit and how to take advantage of the improvised, organic comedy that seemingly flows through their veins.
During this show, you are confronted with your own most mortifying nightmares; the air of embarrassment never hangs too far above your head throughout. But it makes you realise that we are all in the same boat. Everyone has those moments where they called their teacher mum or had something stuck in their teeth for an entire day, but they are moments that make us human and eventually become something we can laugh about later. You may be squirming in your seat, but thankfully you haven’t got it as badly as Lucy. It’s an unrelenting foray into what embarrassment is, and that it can happen to us at any moment, expertly handled and confronted red face to red face, or, more appropriately, cheek to cheek.