When you see One Woman Show — and you will — you’ll want to talk about it to everyone who’ll listen. You’ll want to see it again, maybe twice, and then organise some sort of One Woman Show book club event where you sit around in a circle and list all the funniest and cleverest parts.
As much as I want to do that right now, I don’t want to tell you anything that Liz Kingsman wrote, did or said until you’ve seen it. This is a show that benefits from having not one single spoiler, however innocuous it might seem. So I’m going to do my best to review it while revealing (hopefully) next to nothing about the plot or jokes.
The buzz around One Woman Show has been in the air for a while — she sold out runs at Vault Festival and the Pleasance — and we now seem to be settling on a completely justified level of excitement about the Next Big Thing.
In affectionately skewering the delights, tropes and traps of millennial female storytelling, Kingsman avoids accidentally tumbling into the expected pitfalls by hurling herself in face first. One Woman Show parodies the self-deprecating humour, the sexually liberated clichés and the sudden, alarming sincerity of Fleabag-esque solo theatre with references to mad lib London date scenarios, empowered wanks and vague references to The Bad Thing From Her Past. It’s all just so, like, relatable?
Her writing is as sharp as a pin, folding jaunty throwaway puns around overly epic feminist monologues and visual gags. Just when you think you’ve got a hold of it all — oh right, she’s doing THIS bit now — Kingsman leaps off in another direction. While One Woman Show scribbles in the margins of a solo theatre playtext, this is, above everything, a gut-bustingly funny hour of comedy. Kingsman is silly, charming and her performance bears the marks of many years spent in sketch and improv (with two fantastic groups Massive Dad and SORRY).
This show will be back. It’s only a matter of time before she is absolutely fucking everywhere.
One Woman Show is, dare I say it, perfect.
Liz Kingsman: One-Woman Show is at Soho Theatre, London until 27th October