Holly Burn, or Kirsty K as she’s known for the purposes of this show, immediately drops her audience into a bizarre and high-energy scenario. Kirsty is a Geordie lass who’s been sent on a trip by her nan - her first time away from home. She is an endearingly bizarre and innocent character to whom Burn sticks rigidly, never ceasing to be the complicated young girl with all of her surprising and singular personality traits, even when faced with the unpredictable elements of audience participation, on which she thrives. As such, the title
I am Kirsty K is a fantastic introduction to a wonderfully exaggerated and ridiculous character.
Burn takes her character comedy to an unusual place, timing her jokes in an unexpected way.
This odd timing can be jarring, but the oddity creates a new reason to laugh rather than preventing her jokes from landing, all being part of the character. Burn’s comedy thrives on how unusual it is - the more ‘usual’ parts of the show, such as the use of comedy props, are often the least successful ones, with a few hilarious exceptions - notably involving grains of rice.
The influence of clowning on Burn as a performer is very clearly seen through the idiosyncratic movements and tics she gives to Kirsty. She has updated the medium however, and seamlessly integrates her clowning skills, both physically and vocally, into Kirsty’s persona. Fans of the likes of Doctor Brown will leave happy, and the added knowing and intelligent comments made by Burn satisfy those who might feel otherwise uncomfortable with or bored by a clown show. If you fall into the latter category I urge you to shelve your reservations and give Holly Burn a try, she may defy your expectations.
The show is not laugh-a-minute, fitting the unusual format, but there is no possible way to be bored, and constant laughter enough - different parts of the set very obviously tickled different members of the audience, presumably due to the varied and unexpected nature of Burns’s work. Despite one or two lagging moments, I am Kirsty K is a fantastic introduction to a wonderfully exaggerated and ridiculous character.