Natasia Demetriou is new to solo shows. This is both a fact and the overarching theme of her latest Fringe offering. Demetriou has performed with sketch group Oyster Eyes and has uploaded many youtube clips with Euro Sketch. Now we are treated to an hour with the lady herself.
Demetriou is a confident and naturally funny performer. A reveller in the absurd, she performs with sleepy, dazed eyes and a lazy voice.
Demetriou is a confident and naturally funny performer. A reveller in the absurd, she performs with sleepy, dazed eyes and a lazy voice. The character spectrum she presents us with is impressive. The best character is a rather destitute-looking woman with a doll on her shoulder, who whispers in order not to awake the ‘baby’, and who explains that in her village they do not laugh but raise their arm. She is accompanied by some hilarious one-liners.
Demetriou is a character comedian and she is good at presenting this hilarious specimen and many more. The trouble is they are given too little of the spotlight, and appear only in short bursts. Most of the show revolves around Demetriou playing up the failure of each new activity for laughs. The self-reflexive and self-indulgent references, which have become an unfortunate modern trend in comedy, overrun this show. It’s too real. It’s too difficult to let loose and enjoy yourself whilst being constantly reminded of the fact that this is a young woman’s first solo show and that she is nervous.
There is a repetitiveness which is also unappealing, as it feels like it is covering up a lack of material. In every character, despite the fact that they are supposed to be distinct, the same sexy/disgusting joke is exploited: ‘You may know me from the fact that I’ve been sprouting fifteen jet black hairs from my chin since the age of fifteen’, Demetriou jokes, whilst winking sultrily. Demetriou is good at delivering this trope, but she overplays her card. Whenever there is a lull in the show, Demetriou fills it by gyrating at the audience. There are also dangerous moments where Demetriou’s absurd style seems to be yet another method for covering up a lack of content. At one point for instance, she mimes nonsense into a microphone to background piano music.
Mae Martin’s frequent appearances as Demetriou’s little helper are some of the highlights. “If only someone could play [insert specific song title here] now, that would be so great,” Natasia says, sulkily. Immediately, Martin, bright and fresh-faced stands and offers her assistance. “I know how to play that song. Hi! I’m Mae Martin, you might know me from [insert impressive link to fame here], and by the way Tash, I think your show is going remarkably well.” Also very successful are the video clips. Demetriou and her friends and family who appear in these clips clearly have a flair for working with the webcam.
Essentially, Demetriou’s vulgar, quirky charm, which is delightful at regular intervals in sketch shows and youtube clips, has not yet blossomed into its own in this solo show. Demetriou has fantastic potential and ‘You’ll Never Have All of Me’ is enjoyable, but the show’s title might well be changed to ‘You Can’t Have All of Me Yet’. With sharper material Demtriou’s potential could be fulfilled, allowing us to experience and cherish all that she has to offer.