Katie Goodman absolutely delivers – a gutsy comedian with a satirical side and a fairly foul mouth. Leaping onto the stage, she launches immediately into the show’s title track, a rousing Occupy anthem centred around how we may not be the ones who got the world into a mess but we’re the ones who need to fix it. She follows this up with the softly amusing ‘Why is this sh*t always happening to me?’ and the impressively agile ‘Multitasking’.
My personal favourite though, comes later in the show – ‘The Mid-life Crisis song’, fairly predictable in content but lifted and enlivened by Goodman’s energetic performance and hilarious descent into paranoia by the end. This kind of comic acting is something at which Goodman excels and feels like it should be a greater part of the show.
However, good as the good parts are, there’s not that many surprises in this show. The satire, while relevant, feels a little too broad and, whilst consistently amusing throughout, there are no bait-and-switch setups to elicit a surprise belly laugh. The show continues in a fairly predictable vein, a mixture of stressed mom and indignant democrat punctuated by the occasional song or slightly awkward rap.
I think the problem here is one of cultural reference. Just like doing UK political humour in America, there’s just a little too much distance here between knowing the facts that the American Goodman refers to and feeling strongly enough about them to really engage with the jokes. But it’s more than that.
Goodman plays quite strongly on identifying herself as a typical soccer mom then subverting that image with pointed bolshy satire. This doubtless works fine in the US where ‘soccer mom’ is a strongly defined character but, again, in the UK it’s not a strong enough basis for the contrast. We know what a soccer mom is but when we look at Goodman we’re more likely to simply see a glamorous female comic than a suburban housewife.
Katie Goodman is a talented musician and a great comedian but, in a Fringe packed with the same, she doesn’t really stand out. There’s some interesting material here but, while Goodman doesn’t f**k it up, she doesn’t really dazzle either.