Tania Edwards deserves a much bigger audience than what she was met with last night. A poor turnout put unnecessary pressure on a well-structured and well-delivered set.
The material is sound. The main thing linking her narratives is a deep-seated desire for success and the comedy is born of the hilarious and degrading ways in which this desire manifests itself, with alarming consequences for a certain feline pet of hers. Her accessible stories are entertaining, featuring career and relationship angst, with a few more niche, personal stories about doing odd jobs in the entertainment industry or dealing with strange requests from agents. These tickle the funny bone as well as giving an insight into Tania’s life.
The delivery is impressive and hints at a background of professional acting: Edwards looks totally at ease on stage. Far from being demoralised by the empty chairs, she ploughs on, bantering with the audience and reserving personalised jokes for a few special individuals. In particular, an 18-year-old in the front row attracted Edwards’ attention and after many of the references in her set she would turn and say ‘You’re too young to have heard of that, Angus’, even if the reference was to something like dinner parties. Later she unapologetically explained, ‘somebody’s always the butt of a joke. It’s been you a few times tonight Angus.’ When reaching a particularly dramatic moment, Edwards also has a way of fixing certain audience members with an electrifying stare which casts doubt on her claims to not having ‘killer instincts’.
Edwards didn’t keep the audience in fits, but then again, as laughter is infectious, she may well do with more bums on seats. The experience was more about enjoying listening to a charmingly quirky personality prattle away and effortlessly create an impression of herself and her life.