Iszi Lawrence’s stand-up show Wotnot, a word that also doubles as her go-to euphemism for her vagina, is delightfully tricky to describe with concision. Lawrence is an Oxford native and draws plenty of material from her public school upbringing and the foibles of her fellow townsfolk, but also makes unexpectedly deep explorations through her sexual history, particularly in her first gay experiences, the telling of which is equal measures silly and provocative. Mix in a series of well-aimed references to 90s pop culture, the experience of trying to explain what being bisexual means, a love of puns and an off-kilter anecdote about velociraptors, and one finds oneself kept thoroughly on one’s toes.
But all of this is to reduce to the bare bones a thoroughly well-assembled and artfully performed hour of comedy from a deeply affable and engaging stage presence, which Lawrence herself describes as a mix between a 1940s lesbian and a Thundercat. Her set is well-suited for a lunchtime crowd, and Lawrence goes out of her way to make the performance fittingly relaxed, which considering her apparently frantic disposition is no small feat.
Occasionally material does fall flat, suffers from too much build-up and not enough payoff, or, on one or two occasions, errs on the self-indulgent side, but the vast majority of Wotnot covers refreshing new ground or presents a fresh slant on stand-up staples. While the show wasn’t perfect, it is energetic, endearing, thoughtful and highly recommended, particularly for those on the lookout for exciting new talent.