Projecting hilarious, in-your face straight up comedy, Carlson’s infectious personality has you drawn to her from the minute she walks on to the stage. Her appearance is followed by a moment of relief when she states that she will never pick on a member of the audience, a feat that may attract more introverted viewers.
In First Edition, the South African born comedian has a lot to say about airport travel, gluten-free diets, social media, and the stresses and pressures we put ourselves under on a daily basis. With a loud and honest delivery, Carlson’s views are happily familiar as you find yourself agreeing with almost everything she has to say.
The sketch runs through Carlson’s experiences as she talks about all the things she hates about life – from being forced into PE at primary school, to finding the right gate at an airport terminal – and while most of the show is full of laughter and joy, it does take on a more sombre note when Carlson opens up about grief, the loss of a loved one and dealing with the aftermath. But even at its most personal and poignant moments, Carlson continues to keep the audience chuckling.
Carlson’s accessible comedy is innocent and joyful, and while it is honest and at times blunt, it is also well intentioned and uplifting. Although her first Edinburgh hour, Carlson is a household name in South Africa – and it won’t be long before she is one here, either. Grab one of the last chances to see her in a smaller, more intimate venue.
Words: Mariana Mercado
Picture: Michael Craig
Urzila Carlson – First Edition, Assembly George Square Studios, Aug 4-27 (not 15), 7.45pm