By the time we’re halfway into tonight’s show, Celia Pacquola is trying to identify which audience member has fallen in love with her. But by that stage there can’t be many people in tonight’s two-thirds full Sunday crowd who haven’t fallen for her charms. Her energetic brand of confident and measured hysteria draw you headfirst into a show about fate and looking to – but never planning for – the future.
It feels like something of a slow start, but material that feels slightly hackneyed is soon revealed to be groundwork for later, more expansive routines. A fine clown, she warms up and gets sharper as the hour whizzes by, energetically and wittily guiding us around her superstitions and thirty-something angst, acting out hilarious vignettes set in her fridge and deconstructing her insecurity via encounters with tinpot psychics.
This densely packed and well-crafted hour of comedy is self-reflective but never indulgent, and disparate strands and themes are brought to a satisfying conclusion. Pacquola may be as hopeless as the rest of us at life-planning, but her comedy future looks bright and secure.