Show: It is a Truth…
Venue: PQA Venues @Riddle’s Court
Star Rating: ***
Reviewer: Suky Goodfellow
It is a truth universally acknowledged that any piece of work regarding Jane Austen, must begin ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged’. Jaleelah Galbraith’s show and this review are no exception. That said, the resulting show was original and entertaining, and I didn’t know what to expect next.
Kitted out in cocktail dress and hoodie, Jayde – a character largely based on Galbraith herself – tells present day anecdotes of short-falling romance, while wondering what her favourite author Jane Austen would’ve made of it all.
The venue is down a courtyard off Edinburgh’s prestigious Lawnmarket, which is part of the Royal Mile. We go up to a small room with a cast-iron chandelier and curlicued ceiling, which seems an appropriate setting for some Austen references.
However, if you go expecting hardcore Austen content, you may be disappointed. It is primarily a stand-up show about a straight woman’s experience on the contemporary dating scene. Pop culture references are as plentiful as Bennett sisters: Harry Potter, the Kardashians and 90s Eastenders characters all get a look in.
Early on, Galbraith encourages the audience to treat the show as a drinking game. And I think it deserved a slightly drunker audience, who would’ve been a bit louder and ready to laugh. There’s some good lines and stories that, remembering now, make me smile. It’s easy to get absorbed by Galbraith’s fast-paced delivery, with continuous segues. When Galbraith warmed up into it, becoming more animated in her patter and gestures, I began to shake off my sobriety by chuckling at her descriptions of deal-breakers in relationships and an awkward youth club crush.
It’s worth the £6 full price entry fee. It’s not ground-breaking in it’s comedy, but it’s well-structured and there are no lulls. There’s a lot of content packed into this 50 minutes, including thoughtful musings on being true to yourself in a world where initial appearances are so influential. Well thought out, consistent comedy that kept me engaged.
© Suky Goodfellow