Catherine Semark

Catherine Semark

Finalist in the 2009 Funny Women award.
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Catherine Semark's Curriculum

Note: This review is from 2010

Review by Marissa Burgess

For her debut show, Catherine Semark has, simply and sensibly, decided to take a trip through her life so far and mined it for humour. Ostensibly it’s her schooldays that are examined here, asking the question - what was it that she actually learnt there?

At the top of the show, through the use of a pleasing and smart-looking Venn diagram, she separates her audience into swots or twats. It’s not as harsh as it sounds, she includes herself in the ‘twat’ category defining it as incorporating the shambolic and disorganised who would be fairly likely to ‘have Maltesers for breakfast’. She goes on to introduce us to her straight talking German exchange student and an influential art teacher who taught her to look at life from a different perspective.

Though she claims that life has largely taught her how to use directness to her advantage and how to focus on the less obvious, another thing she certainly gleaned in those years are presentation skills. Semark is well-spoken, considered and deliberate in her delivery. There are further visual aids on nothing more high tech than a large sketch book, but like the opening Venn diagram, they’re beautifully and neatly presented.

It’s an assured performance from a relative newcomer - she was a Funny Women finalist just last year. Though you’re not likely to find yourself rolling in the aisles contorted with laughter, it’s nevertheless a very promising start. There’s plenty of potential to play around with that cool delivery. Achieving a calm confidence is half the battle in stand up terms – plus there are some lovely gags.

It’s a Free Fringe show and of course it’s necessary to do the ‘donations gratefully received…’ speech at the end but with Semark there’s no hard sell just another Venn diagram with options to give money or leave feedback on websites (including this one) or Twitter. With that level of politeness and the fact that it’s midday show, where’s your excuse not to catch her before the end of the run?

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Published: 27 Aug 2010

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Past Shows

Edinburgh Fringe 2010

Catherine Semark's Curriculum


Edinburgh Fringe 2013

Catherine Semark: Shadow Ape


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