Grace Campbell has been called a multitude of things, but after her most recent comedy set A Show About Me(n) she can add electrifying, iconic and all around spectacular to the list. The evening is filled with a cheeky humour and honesty that resembles more of a casual chat with friends than a performance. But in summary, the bar has been raised.
Electrifying, iconic and all around spectacular
The Legend from North London is supported by Alice Brine, whose surprising and inspiring level of candor is an amusing exploration of male and female dynamics that provides a whole new outlook on the realities of the world. Brine provides incredibly witty commentary, going further to push boundaries in a show that already makes us feel like we can take on the world, to the point that we can only imagine and hope to witness the empowerment that Brine can generate as a solo act.
Whilst from the outset it may seem like there is a level of self-depracation here, but in fact it is the complete opposite. Campbell owns her experiences and perceived flaws, turning them into strengths and a celebration instead of wallowing, a welcome change of tone from a majority of British comedy. We are thrown into the deep end of personal anecdotes, which comes off as a little brash and jarring. Campbell develops a kind of fury and fiery rhetoric in her performance as if she were speaking at a political rally of some sort rather than a comedy show. It’s the culmination of the female experience, challenging us to be uncomfortable with the way the world and people can be, to demand better and to look after ourselves in the process. From the normalisation of periods to the flaws within the American healthcare system and a multitude of entertaining descriptions of ‘icks’, Campbell completely wins us over with her lack of filter and sheer intensity by scratching away the seemingly shallow façade of stories about relationships and revealing the defiance and message of self-love beneath.
There is just so much energy radiating from Campbell that it is hard not to be completely won over by her personality. A Show About Me(n) is such an incredibly big show which is matched by Campbell’s stage presence. By teasing and playing around the entire time she is onstage, Campbell has a way of connecting to the audience that just makes the entire show an event, engaging with us so that we become more invested in the story that she is telling and making us feel like we are part of the show. With the combined talent of Brine, it takes a special kind of talent to open us up so much that people are admitting to several felonies over the course of the evening.
There’s a lot to unpack in this show but it is certainly clear that A Show About Me(n) is more than your average comedy set, it is an experience and Campbell has certainly thrown down the gauntlet.