Catriona Knox: Adorable Deplorable

★★
comedy review | Read in About 2 minutes
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Catriona Knox
Published 17 Aug 2017

Character comedian Catriona Knox has always been stronger as a performer than a writer, coming up with brave, brilliantly original conceits but rarely seeing them through to satisfying conclusions. Her latest Fringe show does nothing to buck this trend.

Knox is on from the moment we step into the venue, engaging us in a karaoke number which erodes any sense of conventional boundaries between her and the audience. The trouble is, she's too eager to exploit this dynamic from the very onset of her show proper, insisting someone join her on stage moments into the first sketch.

Melania Trump is a fascinating character to embody, but Knox only touches the surface of her vanity and materialism, ignoring the broader socio-political circumstances that shaped the woman. More focus is paid to the gimmicky conceit of having an audience member draw her portrait than to satire or character analysis.

Soon after, Asma al-Assad is shown enjoying a massage at the hands of an audience member, her monologue barely touching upon the moral implications of being married to the controversial Syrian president. One is given the impression of the comic involving us so heavily in the hope of distracting from her undercooked material.

To her credit, Knox throws herself into each role and is unafraid to go wherever her mania takes her, albeit on a purely physical level. After an hour in her company, however, she seems to be debasing herself just to hold our attention.