As latecomers arrived, Kennedy provided a summary of the show up to said point. Disappointingly, these summaries were far funnier than the rehearsed comedy.
Coming through an entirely superfluous but fabulously constructed giant vagina, Kennedy and Stransky opened with a good introduction to themselves and their tumultuous relationship. Their set centres on their family life together, to varying success: there was an early tale of the misnaming of a Spanish holiday house due to a misplaced accent, rendering it with a name more suited to a brothel than a second home. This story was told somewhat haltingly: the punchline became increasingly more and more apparent before it was delivered and then fell slightly flat.
However, there were some incredible stories of Stransky’s life up to writing the show, from leaving the Czech Republic as a refugee in the 1940s right through to becoming a successful publicist. The best story from this time involves a bomb scare and the shutting down of the offices of major newspapers and this was well told by Stransky. It would have been good to have more of these stories throughout the show, as opposed to the attempts to fashion jokes from audience interaction.
The problems of the show were revealed early on: as latecomers arrived, Kennedy provided a summary of the show up to said point. Disappointingly, these summaries were far funnier – and indeed Kennedy’s rapport with the audience is lovely throughout – than the rehearsed comedy. There were awkward transitions between sections of the conversation too. In order to introduce the running theme of motherhood, Stransky would read from Where did I come from?, a children’s book, to explain the ins and outs (no pun intended) of sex. Rather than this being humourous, it simply fell flat and made me question its inclusion.
Whilst some of the comedy might have been awkward, where Jana and Heidi works perfectly is at showing the love and care that exists between mothers and daughters. Their set ends on a lovely note of poignancy and tenderness, exemplifying the rock-solid underbelly of their relationship.