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Abigoliah Schamaun: Girl Going to Hell
Published on Friday, 10 August 2012
4

4 stars

Laughing Horse @ The Counting House (venue website)
Comedy
2-14, 16-27 Aug, 8:30pm-9:30pm
Reviewed by Mathilda Gregory

 Free and unticketed. No pre-booking required.
 Recommended for age 16+ only.

Abigoliah Schamaun seems to be running this whole show herself. She’s outside chatting to punters before it begins, she’s introducing herself from the back of the room, she’s doing her own tech and she’s on stage telling the jokes. And, she is very funny. With a particular brand of confidence and self-regard that feels like it could only come from America, Schamaun chats amiably about her haircut, her parents and her sex life and it feels just like catching up with a close, and very witty, friend.

When people complain about female stand-ups, they often say that the problem is they either talk too much about sex or not enough. I think the truth is that people take a lot more note of the sex-themed material (or lack of it) when the comic is a woman, and here, Schamaun is probably someone that would be described as being very brazen about her sex life. Mind you, it is probably more accurate to say that, while she covered a bunch of topics, a lot of her most attention-grabbing material was about sex.

Her jokes about dating and her frankness about her sexuality were totally engaging, full of dark, daring admissions, and one frankly shocking one. Her theme of “going to hell” was clear throughout, although, sadly, only referred to once. There was enough material about religious attitudes and “sinful” behaviour that the show’s title could have been threaded more strongly thought the material; it’s always nice if an hour-long stand up show has a theme or some sense of narrative, rather than being just a collection of observations. I also feel the show’s sub-plot, about the death of Schamaun’s father, could have been more thoughtfully worked through.

But these things aside, this is a strong, witty and brave show and one well worth seeing for Schamaun’s easy charm alone. She says she likes bad boys… and I’m sure that they, along with a lot of us, will like Schamaun enough to follow her straight to hell.

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These are archived reviews of shows from Edinburgh 2012.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.

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