Roughly halfway through her show, Miss D asks us- “So, has anyone else had Chemical Weapons training?”. For an hour, throwaway comments about life in Israel come out in much the same way- great fistfuls of anecdotes from a life shockingly foreign to our drizzly city are passed off as just another day of compulsory military service. Daphna Baram (AKA Miss D) is an Israeli, and acknowledges the elephant in the room before rugby tackling it to the ground and joking it into submission.
Daphna Baram (AKA Miss D) is an Israeli, and acknowledges the elephant in the room before rugby tackling it to the ground and joking it into submission.
In amongst the apologies on behalf of everyone involved are stories about Baram's own personal part in the Israel-Gaza conflict, from human rights lawyer (with largely Palestinian clients) to the gigging London-based comedian we see before us, and all in a way that tickles the funny-bone without ever being dismissive. This casual, conversational delivery, which we might expect around a discussion of her London home or the perils of online dating, brings certain parts of the conflict closer to home, making this not only a wonderful and hilarious performance, but an important one.
While your average comedian will moan about that horrible first date or bemoan their toaster, Baram will tell you how to survive a heart attack, then recount the time her state-issued gun was confiscated for her own safety. The more familiar aspects of life, too, from the impossibilities of dating to the effects of age and the experience of the Festival, are approached with the same warmth and unflappable humour. It's hard to find fault in Baram's performance, and even when the shock value is gone, we are drawn in by her quick wit and fearless storytelling. Baram's famed alter ego Miss D still forces her to do the mad, the bad, and the very inadvisable, and it is with great presence and timing that she tells us about them all, regardless of any political intrigue.