Everybody loves a comeback story, and Lauren Pattison’s It Is What It Is, is an up-beat in-depth look at the ups and downs of life. There’s no self-pity, in fact Pattison is almost bursting with a nervous, but positive energy as she tells us the story of how she lost three important things in her life, and how she got them back.
Pattison is a star on the rise
Pattison shows enormous strength throughout the show, just by the sheer overarching narrative of how she clawed her way back from what she saw as her lowest point in life. To stand onstage and describe it in a way where we can laugh at it, well, it’s a pretty Herculean feat on her part. In her anecdotes, Pattison is not afraid to be honest about her emotional well-being, and the way that she describes and builds her journey through the set is inspiring for anyone feeling helpless. She doesn’t brag, she doesn’t lord it over us, but gives voice to very common experiences, and provides gentle reassurance that it gets better. It’s not quite the ‘What are you going to do about it?’ tough love that she herself received, but something similar that makes us pause to think about what we can do in our own lives.
Pattison has a talent for clearly communicating and painting scenes including the emotional state surrounding each story, to the point where she’s no longer talking about the past, but about events that are vividly appearing before us. Her bubbly and warm personality comes through and infuses her storytelling with a lot of affability, endearing her to us, almost to the point of protectiveness against anyone who may try to belittle her.
The jokes in this set are subtle, making the breakneck pace that Pattison rattles off each punchline a little intimidating. Whilst from the outset it is somewhat daunting (especially if you are taking notes during the show), eventually Pattison appears to settle into her material and starts to trust that her audience will understand her story and the humour behind it. This is indicated by the lessening of apologetic notes Pattison makes as the show goes on, as if she expects us to hold things against her in spite of her talent as a performer, an understandable concern considering the nature of many of her anecdotes; times when she has been put down and judged for where she’s from, giving an edge and voice to an uncommon perspective in comedy.
Pattison is an incredibly charming and friendly comedian, and she does cast an enchantment over us, because (as much of a cliché as it is) the worst part of this show is when it ends, and we no longer have the pleasure of Pattison’s company. It Is What It Is comes from a place of hindsight and calm and being able to say that the worst is over, which is the least anyone could ask for. Pattison is a star on the rise and I wish her the best of luck for whatever comes next.