When you boast a cast of characters as diverse as Lucie Pohl’s new act it’s no surprise when the results are so mixed. The New Yorker has created a one-woman sketch show which is short on big laughs but has an impressive central performance and enough variation to keep things interesting.
Uniting all the characters is Pohl’s undoubted talent as an actress.
Some of Pohl’s best efforts come from her darker, more unsettling turns – particularly her marginalised American characters. Her streetwise, philosophical bum and her dirty old man living with palsied hands and more than a few regrets are both standouts, as is the unsettling journey into the mind of a murderer.
Less successful are the excursions into accents further from home. As her voice dips into more extravagant territory so do the histrionics, with Pohl relying too much on outlandish accents and eccentric behaviour for laughs.
Fortunately, the show doesn’t dwell too long on any one sketch. Proceedings are kept fresh as Pohl works her way through her roster of oddballs quickly and efficiently, jumping from one weirdo to the next with no more than a change of coat and sunglasses.
Uniting all these characters is Pohl’s undoubted talent as an actress. She invests an arresting physicality into her performance, selling each of her different characters through pose and posture as much as the rapid fire wardrobe changes which accompany her transformations. It is this acting prowess rather than comedic ability which ultimately make this show watchable. If Pohl could create material to match her performance then the results could be very special indeed.