Comedy review: Kate Berlant: Communikate, Assembly George Square Studios

editorial image
0
Have your say

Kate Berlant’s fascinating, frequently hilarious act, plays with an audience like a cat with yarn. From her opening blurt of pseudo-meaningful nonsense, she is her own unique monster, a spoof of the self-obsessed performer but too much fun to be dismissed as merely meta-theatrical.

Kate Berlant: Communikate, Assembly George Square Studios (Venue 17) ***

Affecting a stream of consciousness, she improvises off audience responses with expressive physicality, unpredictability and controlled mania.

Her confidently asserted claim to be psychic is a masterstroke. Despite her fishing obscurely and missing repeatedly in her efforts to establish connections, in a manner of speaking, she already has.

• READ MORE: Edinburgh Festival 2018: 13 of the hottest shows to see so far

Such is the goodwill her performance creates that the audience wills her to succeed, taking responsibility for keeping the dialogue going to see where she can take it. So much more than a gimmick, it plays hard to Berlant’s strengths.

Such crowd control is impressive. And there’s unquestionably some very funny pre-written material maintaining a sense of progress. But it’s a big ask for it not to ultimately become a little formulaic, with another strong suit required to make this the smash Berlant is likely capable of.

• Until 26 August, 9:15pm