Comedy review: Abigoliah Schamaun: Namaste, Bitches

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe: When Abigoliah Schamaun reveals that she trained at a Fame-style stage school in New York, it comes as no surprise.

Underbelly, Cowgate (Venue 61)

***

After all, she begins her show by bounding from the gloom wearing sparkly green leggings and forcing the audience to get on their feet to clap in formation.

Immediately alarm bells start ringing. A brash American with a musical theatre fixation? This is going to be a nightmare. As it turns out, she’s actually quite charming.

Not that she’s a great comedian by any stretch of the imagination. She’s an engaging, amusing storyteller who’s led an interesting life.

Schamaun moonlights as a yoga instructor, a discipline she learned while studying at a retreat/cult run by a dubious Indian guru. Her search for enlightenment also involves alcohol and recreational drugs, which she makes no bones about. Unfortunately, her hedonistic tendencies have destroyed her singing voice. Her childhood dream of becoming Barbra Streisand in Hello, Dolly! are in tatters.

However, in the grand tradition of Broadway musicals, this is a show about overcoming personal setbacks and chasing your dreams. It’s never laugh-out-loud funny, but Schamaun’s energetic charisma should carry you through. I was more or less won over by the end.

Until 27 August. Today 7:40pm.