Character comedy is a difficult discipline at the best of times and, with a trope as thoroughly picked-over as the oblivious action-hero, it asks at lot from a performer to find something new in their show.
Farrett is an absolute dynamo; leaping womanfully from one side of the stage to the other, juggling off-the-cuff responses to technical difficulties with hi-octane crowd-work and never once letting the pace drop.
According to creator Lucy Farrett, the thing she hoped to find in Lois was a way to connect to her ‘best self’ - the kind of dynamic, capable, kick-ass woman that she, and the world in general, are pressuring her to be. Unsurprisingly, Farrett says, this kind of intense self-examination actually led her to feeling fairly down herself (and consequently wasn’t terribly funny) and so the result is a show that’s relatively light on social comment and heavy on surrealist comedy.
Glimmers of the original concept still show through but first and foremost this is a showcase for Farrett’s odd sense of humour – one which could prove a little hit-and-miss for any of the audience expecting razor-sharp dialogue and a watertight plot. In some ways, this is a pity; the Hollywood stereotype view of a ‘strong, independent woman’ is reaching a point ripe for a picture-point parody and, at the moment, Farrett’s humour is too broad to deliver on this promise.
With that said, I personally had a whale of a time. A one-person show is only as good as the person performing it and Farrett is an absolute dynamo; leaping womanfully from one side of the stage to the other, juggling off-the-cuff responses to technical difficulties with hi-octane crowd-work and never once letting the pace drop. All this activity is strung together by a plot which follows the standard beats of an action-comedy but uses them to whisk the audience from rural ‘Pansas’ to the wilds of Marbella
Lois treads a well-established path but, thanks to Farrett’s unbounded energy and surreal sense of humour, manages to craft a unique and enjoyable hour. There is undoubtedly potential for a deeper, more personal, introspective show here but in its current state, Lois is just damn good fun.
Constantly chaotic, at times bordering on bizarre, throw yourself into the performance, let the plot carry you along and you’ll have an hour well-spent and an achey face set in a smile.