Juliet Meyers: Strange Ears
Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2008
Ever traced your family... then regretted it? Meyers’ whimsical kaleidoscopic comedy returns to Edinburgh. Confessions, deformed ears and feisty gags woven into an embarrassing family history. Contains traces of Jews.
An audience of just three people could potentially be uncomfortable for all concerned, but in Juliet Meyers’ show that’s not the case. She’s welcoming, asking the name of each one of us, making us all feel at home without a hint of awkwardness.
She is a jovial host and an engaging storyteller as she takes us on her personal odyssey to discover her father’s origins. An Iraqi Jew – not an anoraky Jew as one posh guest at a dinner party in Fulham misheard - who grew up in India, Meyers had tired of having people ask her where she was from. On replying Putney, they would ask again: ‘But where are you REALLY from?’
With the added impetus of a possible history of bowel cancer in the family, and the mystery of the extra tiny holes in her ears, she decided to travel to India to find out her background. More specifically to Mumbai where she sought out her grandparents’ graves.
It’s an interesting tale of self-discovery and a moving attempt to understand her cantankerous father. Along the way she touches on her background growing up in Chiswick, reveals her lapses in her veganism as now, in her mid-thirties, she realises that’s life’s too short to go without cheese and describes her consequent feud with a former friend and sanctimonious vegan.
The show isn’t laugh a minute, it’s more likely to elicit gentle chuckles ,but her self-effacing persona and openness more than make for it.
Reviewed by: Marissa Burgess