Lucy Frederick is anxious. Her anxiety is what drives the entire hour. This is her first performance and she is trying very, very hard. She is, she tells us, someone who needs to be liked. And so keen to please is she that she gurns and postures and, for the first part of her show, generally overeggs her narrative pudding to the point where is begins to look like an omelette. But she will stop doing this. And then this will be an hour to remember.
Lucy Frederick: Even More Naked, Underbelly Bristo Square (Venue 302) ****
It is her Nanette. But this is no cynical copycat. The show pulls on you, through a comedy introduction to her experiences on How To Look Good Naked, her disastrous relationships and the hole in her heart created by the death of her mother.
We consider Maslow’s Pyramid of Need and the place of cake and gin therein and now Frederick calms down and hits her stride. When we get to the lake with the naked couples swimming underwater we pretty much know we are getting full-on personal, but we are now held tight in the moment of the show. There is a palpable tension in the room, which is a powerful thing in comedy. And the tension is not released in any predictable way.
Back, naked, in front of the TV mirrors and Gok Wan, we get to the dark heart of the show. It is an oddly compelling hour with a wholly engaging performer. Sometimes the light and shade of the piece switch so fast it is like a strobe effect. But go with it.
• Until 26 August, 2:50pm