Courtney Pauroso: Gutterplum, Underbelly * * * *To tell you more risks spoiling the joy of the rolling surprises she springs on you. Courtney Pauroso is an extraordinary talent – both dramatically and comedically. She can also do press-ups and play tunes with a body-part not so well known for its musical abilities. If the “clown” thing is putting you off going, don’t worry. Pauroso is no mere Gaulier clone.
She is dangerously delightful, as you realise within the first ten minutes of the show. We meet her as a little girl and she creates possibly the most complex laughter you will hear this month. As a young teenager she is no less exquisitely “wrong”, but, again, the laugh you laugh when you know you possibly shouldn’t is a special laugh. Pauroso drags us up and down over the emotional rollercoaster that is the life of Dale Ravioli and all we will never know is what happened to her in the woods. Nothing good, I suspect. Whether in trainers or crazy heels, she dances right along the line and then, to make things riskier, she plucks a co-star from the audience.
This is punter participation at a level unrisked, hitherto. Tonight we have Stuart Goodall, who was so brilliant I was convinced he was a plant. It takes a powerful performer to make a random audience member feel so safe onstage that they happily do what Stuart did. I am saying no more. You have to see this show.KATE COPSTICKUntil 25 August