When extremely enthusiastic New York comic Abigoliah Schamaunn bounded in “from the back of the room to the front of the room!”, her iPod stopped dead as she arrived onstage. “That’s the only moment of perfect timing in the show” she quipped seconds before it roared into life again and drowned out the rest of her sentence. This haphazard moment of impromptu, almost slapstick comedy summed up the hour to follow.
Her stand-up was confessional and burgeoned on oversharing: she cracked on the death of her father, her fluctuating sex life and the awkward conversations that emerge from discovering her name is German and not Jewish - jokes that “Kill in New York”, she promised after a kibbutz of Hebrew references soared over the audiences heads. Anecdotes about her attempts to romance a dwarf and “a guy who looked like Voldemort” drew the biggest laughs from her meagre but good natured crowd. The darker sections, while always rescued by a good final self-deprecating gag, did sometimes grow uncomfortable as more and more mock-misery was heaped on to Schamaunn’s performing pyre.
To say she had good stage presence is misleading, as more often than not her act spilled off the stage. This occurred both physically with her hyperactive leaping around and in content with her addressing and arresting many of the intimate audience in turn, asking and even bringing embarrassed victims onstage to display their tattoos or most notably to share their ménage a trois experiences.
Reportedly added after discovering a reviewer had called her “Brilliantly shocking” and wanting to live up to it, her big finale was impressive enough that it ought to remain a surprise. A word of warning though: it involved acupuncture needles and, like Abigoliah’s personality and show, is good fun but not for the faint hearted.