With a title too ripe to ignore, Abigoliah is definitely working on it. The show; her sex life; her PowerPoint skills… this Ohioan is an open, foul-mouthed, unfinished book.
This Ohioan is an open, foul-mouthed, unfinished book.
Thanks to a progressive programme this Fringe season, the Caroline of Brunswick is offering a plethora of free shows - a great platform for up-and-coming comedians trying out new material. So new and special in fact, that I was in rather esteemed comedic company who turned out in support, undoubtedly making a huge difference to the reception of a show that is charmingly half-baked.
Shamaun's quirky openness is immediately endearing, as she begins by rifling through a file chock-full of material salvaged by her dad over the years. Christmas decorations, psych evals, school pictures - she makes the case that being average on paper doesn't mean you're not winning at life. There's a lot to explore here, not least the shared agony of an awkward teenagerdom (it might as well have been me in the dorky photos where my softball glove plays a starring role) nodding to the rather artfully put together version of Shamaun that so gleefully paraded before us. This is a woman who, in faithful reverence to the weird, happily embraces the parts of herself that were so unabashedly American (to a fellow Mid-Westerner's eye) they now almost seem avant garde.
But the richest seam Shamaun has yet to fully mine is that of the mundanities of family life - the shared experiences that when related well provoke a knowing chuckle; relaying her father's death was unsurprisingly stilted, and left us wondering if it was still new. These anecdotes felt unfinished, jumbled between memories and a great story. Not that she, or her seasoned peers, were afraid of these silences. Shamaun was happy to cut herself open to let us peek inside - revealing stories so closely resembling confessions you can't help but feel they are as cathartic for the performer as for the audience. When Shamaun has had time to finish baking (the show at least) you'd be wise to get it while it's hot.