Review: Maisie Adams: Vague at Gilded Balloon

Eyes are on Maisie Adams this year as she debuts her first hour following her victory at last year’s ‘So You Think You’re Funny’ competition. The same quirky, personable presence that won her the title makes Vague a treat to watch.

The show loosely focuses on the tension between her adventurous personality and the epilepsy diagnosis she got at age 11. Though riddled with anecdotes and observational comedy, a strong sense of place gives the narrative coherency. She uses surprising physical comedy to bring local characters to life, escaping the sweltering heat and modest size of her venue by immersing the audience in her idiosyncratic childhood. The details are perfect, and her delivery natural.

Despite the extreme oddities she’s encountered and her unrelatable way of dealing with them, Adams connects with the audience effortlessly. Every emotion she expresses only serves to further endear you to her and make her less likely encounters seem all the more persuasive. Only a few tentative transitions betray her inexperience.

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Her self-deprecating humour perfectly fits her laid-back style. If anything, she comes across as refreshingly unconcerned with her imperfections, only noting them as funny footnotes in the larger learning process. When her conclusion comes, it seems earnest. You’ll leave feeling as though you’ve made a friend, and one you can be proud of.

Maisie Adams: Vague, The Wee Room at Gilded Balloon, August 4-27, 16:30

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