When you think of Russians, funny and comedian are probably not two words that instantly spring to mind; but in time, Olga Koch will change that.
After watching her, I honestly can’t believe this is her debut hour show; the performance is slick, impeccably timed and every joke lands with the audience.
Her show is centred around the events of 2014 – when her father was stopped on the Russian border trying to board a plane to Germany. Her show focuses on this event, and the lead-up to it, for which we need to get a short history lesson in Soviet Russia, its politics and the interesting advertising techniques of post-communist Russia. Koch manages to make learning about this more interesting than any history show or documentary I’ve ever watched, and she keeps us dangling with the mystery of what her father has done to be stopped by Russian border patrol.
Throughout this tale, Koch’s material is full of dark humour, poking fun at her entire family and sharing with us some questionable hair and fashion styles from her younger days. Her material is personal and light-hearted, but with plenty of dark political digs that have left me wondering whether she will ever be able to revisit Russia... The personal nature of the topic of the show means that Koch delivers with buckets of enthusiasm and despite being a self-confessed liar, I really do believe everything she tells me about her father – despite how crazy and unbelievable it seems.
After watching her, I honestly can’t believe this is her debut hour show; the performance is slick, impeccably timed and every joke lands with the audience. Koch is a breath of fresh air in the saturated area of political stand-up. Her show perfects the balance between both serious political comment and "so-naught-I-really-shouldn't-laugh" jokes. It is clear that a lot of thought and research has gone into the writing of this show, and it has paid off. Her charisma, personality and attitude allows her to comment about the KGB, Soviet State, and her gay boyfriend without offending or insulting anyone (except, maybe the President of Russia...).
Koch’s story is one that you will not be able to believe or predict. A natural storyteller, she will keep you completely hooked on the tale of her family. She may also be the only comic who could provide an hour of laughter and leave you wanting to instantly google more about Russian politics. I only wish she had been my history teacher at school.