From the moment the show starts, sporting her specially customised lycra gold costume and delighting the audience with her masterly physical clowning, you quickly realise that Lorna Shaw has funny bones. As half of the critically acclaimed sketch duo, That Pair, with Kat Bond she has appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Sketchorama and Newsjack, and now gone solo to create the character of Ava Rage.
The result is a highly entertaining debut show packed full of jokes, inventive ideas, music and songs with an added layer of super-skilled retained knowledge from the countless TED Talks Lorna Shaw’s alter ego Ava has memorised. Who needs a proper education when you can learn everything you need to know about a subject in 10 minutes? With astonishing recall as she asks the audience to shout letters of the alphabet then clearly recites the complicated title of a corresponding TED Talk.
In one memorable sequence Lorna comically acts out and mouths the dialogue in a scene from the film Flashdance and then does a ‘take two’ as Ava Rage. Pure comedy genius.
Inspired by her own real feelings of being overwhelmed by choice and paralysed by indecision Lorna describes how the character of Ava Rage was born out of an existential crisis: ‘an ordinary woman who has delusions of grandeur but no discernible talent and a severe case of social media inflicted FOMO.’ She proves that none of us are extraordinary, and it’s how we choose to cope with that information that determines our destiny.
Already an accomplished performer as part of a comedy double act and improviser, like the title of Ava Rage’s penultimate song – Lorna is an ‘Exceptional’ talent who is going places.