Laura McMahon, One of the Gals

One of the Gals is completely packed. So packed, in fact, that staff at The Street Bar have to bring down several more stools for the extra guests. The vibe is electric and reminds me of the atmosphere of live shows pre-pandemic. It’s clear that Laura McMahon has a lot of fans. Regrettably, after seeing her solo Edinburgh debut, I can’t say I’m one of them.

As a performer, she's a natural.

Her press release filled me with a lot of hope – there were many reputable comedy credits to her name. However, there was also another, slightly abrasive, section: “If you hate Laura McMahon, women in general, or comedy then this isn’t the show for you.” I’ll admit I didn’t like the show, not for any of these reasons, but because, for the most part, I didn’t find it funny.

It seems from the very start that Laura McMahon doesn’t want to take responsibility for anything. The show begins on a bold note. She states that comedy shows normally start with a support act, explaining that it’s usually an unfunny man who goes on for too long. Unfortunately, this was the type of humour that ran for around half of the show. The ‘men are trash’ narrative became alienating, one-note, and got tiring very quickly. Even Laura herself admitted that at times the show was like a lecture about how things in life have been ruined for women. Except it didn’t. At least with some lectures, they are engaging and thought provoking. The material in One of the Gals ran like an agenda of all the reasons Laura McMahon was right, and everyone else (men especially) were wrong.

It was clear in McMahon’s set that there was scope for improvement with joke structure. Around the 40-minute mark, the material turned into a bizarre mess of personal anecdotes. These were made a tad grating by being propped up by “and I was like…and he was like…and I was like…” to bring us to the conclusion (I counted 8 “like”s in one story). With a little work on structure and delivery, this section has the potential to be a strong final act of the set. For right now, I felt like I was on the outside of her in-jokes.

Although this final section needs some work, it gave McMahon’s personality a chance to shine through. As a performer, she’s a natural. Looking round at the crowd, they were hooked. It’s rare for a comedian to have that instant connection with their audience and this was a bond that only grew with time. The room was consistently in awe of her confidence on stage.

After a tough 18 months for the comedy industry, Laura McMahon definitely retains her charisma. However, underneath the persona is a performer with a lot of work to do.

Visit Show Website

Reviews by James Macfarlane

Trongate

Krapp’s Last Tape with Go On

★★★★
Monkey Barrel Comedy

Amy Matthews and Krystal Evans (WIP)

★★★★
Fringe Player

The Preacher

★★★
PBH's Free Fringe @ The Street

Laura McMahon, One of the Gals

★★
Gilded Balloon Teviot

Jay Lafferty: Blether

★★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

If you hate Laura McMahon, women in general, or comedy then this isn’t the show for you. Edinburgh TV Festival New Talent Award winner, Soho Theatre alum, finalist Funny Women Film Award, BAFTA Crew, BBC Three, Gold Medal at London Worldwide Comedy Festival, The Stand-Up Club’s New Act of the Year finalist, WD Comedy Festival New Act of the Year finalist, Best Female Director UK WebFest. ‘Excitingly fresh and talented comedian whose confidence puts the room at ease’ **** (Radio Ha-Ha).

Most Popular See More

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Life of Pi

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Book of Mormon

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets