Every time I leave one of Olga Koch’s shows, my notes are filled with snippets of advice or wisdom that she imparts in the guise of a comedy hour. Prawn Cocktail is no different, and I now find myself reading through the cliff notes of her masters thesis as I write this review, snippets of wisdom that have practical application for everybody.
It's her ability and willingness to open up about her experiences that really engages us as an audience
Nobody needs to know the urban dictionary definition of ‘shrimping’ but Koch is kind enough to share it with us, which is the best indicator by which to judge the rest of the show as she shares very intimate details of her life since turning 30, told mostly through the lens of her masters, research and practical application of parasocial relationships. On the surface, this show is lighthearted, mildly self-deprecatory and triumphant in tone as she describes an interesting phenomena that is becoming increasingly prevalent and that we should be aware of. It's an incredibly informal hour on the subject that mixes personal andecdotes with the occasional political observation, and to which Koch brings a new kind of vulnerability to her performance in order to indicate the impact that these kinds of relationships can have on people, and it's her ability and willingness to open up about her experiences that really engages us as an audience.
From the outset, Koch gives the impression of someonewho can take anything in stride - in fact, that is the persona that she puts on whilst onstage - and for most of her show, that’s what she leads us to believe to an aspiraitional degree. In sharing her own experience - that is still filled with a dry, snarky narration - she drives her point about parasocial relationships home because it shows how this thing can happen to anyone. Her shows often contain actionable advice on how to approach different scenarios, and Prawn Cocktail is no different because of how it’s an incredibly personal set.
Prawn Cocktail is an extremely hilarious comedy hour. By talking about her experience, Koch is doing a public service by helping us identify the warning signs of a parasocial relationship. If anything, she deserves to get extra credit on her dissertation for being able to replicate the experiment, present and explain her thesis to an audience every night.