Everything That's Wrong with the Universe

It’s risky for a comedian to structure her set around things she doesn’t like. Besides the danger that she inadvertently offend certain pockets of the audience, there’s a lingering threat that the show descend into self-righteous moralising.

Somehow, she managed to make the woeful state of our selfish, war-torn world a laughing matter.

Thankfully, Everything That’s Wrong with the Universe was a lot more playful and lighthearted than its title suggests. Although Gemma Arrowsmith occasionally brought her politics too close to the surface, her persona (or rather, personas) was more lively and exuberant than wry and cynical, and this helped to keep the audience firmly on her side.

Through a series of live sketches in which she displayed an impressive array of accents and impressions, Arrowsmith tackled subjects including war, the monarchy, alternative medicine and mocked the individuals who prop up humanity’s less virtuous industries.

Even I, the Fringe reviewer, did not escape her ridicule. While not personally targeted, I did have to watch as she impersonated a young, conceited writer not dissimilar from my own young, conceited self. I believe my body language became rather more passive after that point.

While the show’s themes felt repetitive at times and a couple of jokes went awry, the diversity in Arrowsmith’s performance kept it fresh and interesting throughout, and her superb rapport with the audience meant that slips of the tongue were instantly forgiven.

Somehow, she managed to make the woeful state of our selfish, war-torn world a laughing matter.

Reviews by Joshua Feldman

Marlborough Theatre

The Room in the Elephant

★★★★
The Warren: Theatre Box

Both Worlds

★★★★
The Warren: Main House

Animal Farm

★★★
The Warren: Theatre Box

Brainchild

★★★
The Warren: Theatre Box

Everything That's Wrong with the Universe

★★★★
The Dukebox Theatre

All Change

★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Face it, if this universe were a school project, it would receive a C+ at most. Gemma Arrowsmith presents sketches and characters exploring the very worst humanity has to offer. A rogues’ gallery of quacks, charlatans and con artists, exploring such depths as homeopathy, plastic surgery and even shampoo adverts. “Exquisitely drawn characters” (Chortle). **** (Three Weeks). **** (The List). **** (FringeReview).

Most Popular See More

Anything Goes

From £42.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Cinderella The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Dear Evan Hansen

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets