There’s a lot going on in Natasia Demetriou’s debut show. As she continually reminds us, this is the first time she’s done a show without her sketch group, Oyster Eyes, and doing the whole solo ‘character comedy’ thing wasn’t really part of the plan. But she’s here now, against her better judgement, to perform for us all. The ‘real’ Demetriou is a curious character; self-deprecating, self-conscious, but also desperate for attention and forever keen to display her skills in case Hollywood is watching. There are delicate layers of irony to be picked through for those of us who like to think deeply about this kind of thing. There’s also outlandish character bits and video sketches, and they’re funny too.
As well as Demetriou herself, we’re presented with a demented Scottish karate instructor, pop sensation Kiki, the least sexy sex guru ever, and more. All the characters share a thinly-veiled desperation that seems to stem from Demetriou’s own misgivings about performing. The filmed segments often feature her family, which includes comedian Jamie Demetriou. These videos are often the funniest parts of the show, one video in particular, featuring their father, bringing the house down. There is a fair amount of audience participation, one unlucky lad (or lucky, depending on how you look at it) getting picked on to do all kinds of things. These interactions are occasionally cringeworthy, but end up generating big laughs. There are songs too, ably assisted by tiny Canadian Mae Martin. There are plenty of gags on offer, but the real pleasure of the act is Demetriou’s layered performance and subtle quirks. It’s a messy show, with some awkward moments, but Demetriou is completely fearless.