Greta Titelman: Exquisite Lies review – mesmeric standup with plenty to shriek about


Focus / Culture 51 Views comments

Soho theatre, London
The comic traces a path from Arizona to Manhattan with a musical set that never quite lands

The comedian as self-fascinated ego-monster is quite the pose these days. Kate Berlant, Leo Reich and Catherine Cohen recently entered that territory where self-disclosure blurs into grotesque solipsistic caricature. Now Greta Titelman follows them with a show that found some success at last year’s Edinburgh fringe. Like Berlant and Cohen an alumnus of hipster comedy Search Party, Titelman’s hour professes to recap her life story, from bullied nine-year-old dork to grownup Manhattanite bludgeoning down her trauma with joyless threesomes and narcotics.

It works, moment to moment: Titelman is a mesmeric performer, her delivery swooping and soaring from whispers and butter-wouldn’t-melt sing-songs to shrieking into the faces of the front row. The show is top-loaded with the sweet-little-girl shtick, as Titelman plays the blushing junior ambushed by parental discord and a friend at boarding school introducing her to opioids. She is the faux-naif in these scenes, wide-eyed at the discovery of her flair for drug-taking, blithely blackmailing her adulterous dad for a Hervé Leger dress.

At Soho theatre, London, until 25 May

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