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Catherine Cohen, Brighton Komedia review - songs and New York sass | reviews, news & interviews

Catherine Cohen, Brighton Komedia review - songs and New York sass

Catherine Cohen, Brighton Komedia review - songs and New York sass

Debut UK tour from award-winning performer

Catherine Cohen's show is mix of chatty stand-up and sharp songsJenny Watts

Catherine Cohen made quite an impact at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe, where she won best newcomer in the Edinburgh Comedy Awards for The Twist? She's Gorgeous. Global events have delayed her follow-up and a UK debut tour, but here it is, and Come For Me was worth waiting for.

The stage persona essayed in the Texan-transplanted to New Yorker's debut hour – a vain, self-obsessed diva – is now fully realised, as Cohen tells us about her life. There are enough biographical details in there (Catholic mother, Jewish father, comfortable upbringing) to ground the story in reality, but she builds an elegant creation on top, both in the chatty stand-up sections and in her songs, when she is accompanied by pianist Frazer Hadfield.

Cohen, a charismatic performer, is now 31, she tells us – “One of the oldest ages you can legally be” – but among the anxieties in her life, over the hour we see that there's a growing acceptance of who she is. Her songs – witty and cleverly constructed, powerfully sung – and stand-up material cover a slew of subjects, including her need for attention, her sexual awakening as a teenager (blow jobs are mentioned a lot in this show) and why she thinks dating someone who is an uncle is a little creepy. Cheese and the comic's love for true-crime podcasts get a mention too as she sashays around the stage, flirting with the audience as she pretends she's worried over the (short) length of her skirt.

But there's more reflective material, too, as Cohen seamlessly moves from clowning around to talking about body image and her decision to freeze her eggs. It's all presented with sharp irony, a dollop of preening ego and always with several gags to follow, but equally with sincerity. “Why is it so easy to get pregnant but so hard to buy a house?” gets a cheer of recognition form the audience.

There's an occasional political barb and some of the best lines are throwaways – and one of the funniest gags in the show concerns mitochondria. Not many comics have that up their sleeve.

The millennial angst mask never drops and, despite this monstrous ego given full rein on stage, we immediately warm to Cohen. She's naughty but nice.

It's all presented with sharp irony and a dollop of preening ego

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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