I just bloody love Marijana, health and happiness guru to the stars! So to get 50 minutes of her in one go was bliss! Even though I can recite a lot of her material verbatim having seen her so many times since Gabby Best won the Funny Women Awards in 2012, I never tire of it, ever. Why is this, you may ask? No, not because of brand loyalty here – she is just bloody funny. Or, as Maj herself would say, "bloordy foony".
Sometimes performing through your number one character is the best (oops sorry…) way forward. There is a lot more to come from Gabby (ahem…) Best than Marijana of course, yet the hapless eastern European with her malapropisms and hilarious ‘pronoonciations’, has the winning formula and gets me giggling time after time. There are the bits where we join in, the meditative musings about the meaning of life Marijana style, and the pathos which threads through the show to remind us that she is almost real.
I often wonder with character acts where reality meets invention. Is Marijana Gabby’s fantasy? Or are they one and the same with some extra colour and flavouring to make it all much ‘foonier’. Certainly Marijana exudes a cheeky Slavic charm that belies the Englishness of the real Gabby. Alta egos always intrigue me so the completeness of the show in one guise really impresses.
For a first full length Edinburgh-bound show, this is a triumph and I was pleased and surprised that Gabby has plumped for all-in Marijana one-ness with her funky disco yoga, conservatories and the husband who just cannot bear to be near her. Go see, support new talent and catch Marijana live while you still can! Once she gets her own television series, there will be no stopping her!