Lucie Pohl is an extremely talented performer; this is a statement I cannot stress enough. It takes an impressive type of stand-up to beat a quiet audience and early Fringe jitters, all the while winning over a reviewer who doesn’t love all of your material. But Pohl has an element of magnetism about her that means that even when a joke doesn’t land with absolute precision, you don’t care. Because Pohl has something about her that makes it as engaging as one of the best jokes you’ve ever heard.
Watch out for this one - she’s a winner.
Not to say that her jokes don't land, quite the opposite. Making her mark as a voice actor in the game Overwatch, her set went through the trials and tribulations of divorce, the struggles of congoing, the anxiety of Instagram and even something as small as language. The set was marked by brilliantly expressive physicality, from a note perfect impression of Wallace Shawn at a Comic-Con, to a deeply intimate moment of sharing in the finale. That energy drop demands a lot from a performer, especially when you start by manic dancing to Cardi B and nicking sips of audience members’ pints. But Pohl defly navigates these shifts, without a second of it feeling forced or unreal.
The struggles this show faced – to me – was in its structure. The show’s finale would have you believe that each element was designed to connect into each other – to feed into a theme of truth telling, but it didn’t keep most of her individual bits from feeling like disconnected jokes. That’s not a mark against the jokes themselves, but I would rather the show committed to either disconnection or structure. That combined with a bit of early jitters meant the set got off to a rocky start, but nothing she couldn’t overcome. A great stand-up is someone who’s as good at holding the attention of an audience no matter what. Lucie Pohl has that quality – she grabs you to the extent that even if you’re not on the same page as her, you’re somehow still reading the same words. Watch out for this one – she’s a winner.