Catriona Knox Thinks She's Hard Enough
  • By Kyung Oh
  • |
  • 2nd Aug 2014
  • |
  • ★★★★

Catriona Knox is already jumping around, hyped up for the show to start as the audience settles in. She asks someone in the front row to give her a countdown once the lights go out to kick off the show. An innocuous enough task, it seems, but unwittingly this random punter becomes an involuntary sidekick to Knox for the rest of the show, with hilarious results.

Every one of her characters is fleshed out in such detail and embodied with such zest that her performance is always impressive and engaging.

Knox is a very accomplished character comedian. She has a satirical edge running through her material, among her targets being various right-wing ideals and the useless Nick Clegg. Some of this more manifestly political material, however, feels weak at times. In her first sketch, for example, she plays a conservative housewife who is hosting a cookery show. Her use of repulsive ingredients (tobacco, sweat, a snippet of hair) is grotesquely funny, especially as she goes onto explain how she supports the recent austerity measures and dismisses most food groups as excessive and indulgent. However, she relies too heavily on this bigoted right-wing persona for laughs. The chef dismisses a host of ‘progressive’ values such as the NHS and feminism as emblems of the nanny state, but at times without much ingenuity behind the jokes, which occasionally feel repetitive (‘I like to put my oven tray in like my politics - backwards’).

This being said, frequently her comedy isn’t overtly political, and her act is funniest when she ventures into the slightly more surreal - her sketch where she plays Prince George hosting his first birthday-cum-engagement party being among the highlights of the show.

Every one of her characters is fleshed out in such detail and embodied with such zest that her performance is always impressive and engaging. The audience member she selected as co-star played along to her instructions admirably, and these unscripted moments often got the loudest laughs from the audience. It is a very entertaining show brimming with energy, but if you are stage-shy, avoid the front row!

Reviews by Kyung Oh

Underbelly, Cowgate

Before Us

★★★★
Traverse Theatre

Men in the Cities

★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Years to the Day

★★
theSpace on Niddry St

Can't Stay Away!

Summerhall

Snoutology for Beginners

★★★★
C venues - C

The Road to Skibbereen

★★★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Good afternoon! I am a character comedian doing a comedy show. I have been in BBC Radio 4's 2525 and Mission Improbable, and on BBC1's Not Going Out, plus an advert for car rental. Some people have written nice things about me but why not come and see for yourself? 'Dazzling comedy ... as good as Joyce Grenfell already, if not better' (Spectator). 'One of the UK's best' ***** (TheNewCurrent.co.uk). 'A peerless character show' **** (List). **** (BroadwayBaby.com). 'Left me breathless' **** (EdinburghFestivals.co.uk). **** (Festival Journal). 'Endlessly entertaining' **** (Chortle.co.uk).