I was often left wondering why I should care about her third boyfriend, or second pregnancy.
Elie is a charming performer, with a veteran’s stage presence. She likes sequins, and costume changes (evident from the set, but confirmed through the show) and loves sex. The explicit communication of her sexual history drives much of the story, and by extension the comedy, with mixed results. Some of her jokes are genuinely surprising, and elicit genuine laughs. But at times the comedy relies on her being crass, being loud or both. And at others she falls back on the relation of relatable scenarios in a way that is neither new nor interesting.
The writing is at her best during the original musical numbers, which continue the topics raised during the narrative in interesting ways. Elie’s voice has demonstrated range, but a surfeit of acting during the singing prevents her from ever sounding amazing. However, the songs are funny, and having a live guitarist to accompany is a treat. Shame then that they have been cut down to fragments in the transition of the show to Edinburgh.
During the storytelling parts the comedy fails to float an only mildly engaging narrative. While many comics use autobiographical anecdotes, telling what is essentially one’s whole life story better have a point. It should have a punchline, or a message, and Elie’s has neither. I was often left wondering why I should care about her third boyfriend, or second pregnancy. The story was, in short, more self-indulgent than it was entertaining.
If you come for the songs in Shit, I’m in love with you Again, you’ll be stuck staying for the narrative that holds them together. If you’re so interested in hearing those, sneak into the line afterwards. She’s selling CDs.