Liz Kingsman: One Woman Show

MICF-Liz-Kingsman-One-Woman-ShowLiz Kingsman’s One Woman Show has been nominated for piles of awards in the UK and been given all the critical stars. As a parody of the one-woman show – which has become its own genre; thank you Fleabag and Nanette – it’s a love letter to the women who stood and told their stories so well that they created a space for them to be torn into comic shreds for doing so.

Women in comedy: they tell personal stories about sex; are brave until they are vulnerable and honest; and relate so hard to their audience that everyone cries.

At first, I wasn’t sure if I was ready to see this style of storytelling deconstructed and parodied. After all, I see a lot of it in my MICF (Melbourne Independent Celebratory Feminist) month – and I keep trying to correct the title to “Solo Show”.

So, this show is made for me and all of us who cry when women like Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Hannah Gadsby make shows that make people listen. But let’s not forget that women have been making solo shows since the first my-wife-is-so-fat jokes were spewed onto stages.

Kingsman (her real name) understands all of this. It begins with a gently-obvious set up as the neurotic actor talks directly to her audience as cameras are set up around her.

When the emotionally-heavy and very slick lighting kicks in, we meet the self-loathing unnamed hot-mess ditz who works in marketing for a wildlife charity and fancies the new 7-foot office hottie.

One Woman Show is every show like this. But it isn’t. With twists and about turns that make it impossible to not laugh at the form, she lets the audience laugh at themselves for taking it all so seriously.

And lets us love all those women who created space on stages for these shows like this even more.

Liz Kingsman: One Woman Show
Merlyn Theatre – The Malthouse, 113 Sturt Street, Southbank
Performance: Wednesday 12 April 2023
Season continues to 23 April 2023
Information and Bookings:

Image: Liz Kingsman – photo by Ellie Kurttz

Review: Anne-Marie Peard