Tania Edwards: The Art Of War | Review by Julia Chamberlain
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Tania Edwards: The Art Of War

Note: This review is from 2013

Review by Julia Chamberlain

This is a snappy, short (45 minute) sharp show, demonstrating how Tania Edwards is developing well as a comic performer.

Her glacial Home Counties tones and Hitchcock blonde coolness serve her well, comic weapons in her battle with a life that is not coming up to expectations.  And like any smart woman she reached for a self-help book; hers was Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. Makes sense, to learn how to turn defeat into victory, particularly on the domestic front.  

Today’s battle was with a flickery set of stage lights that didn’t settle for the entire show, and which would have tested the patience of a saint. But with a couple of crisp acknowledgements of the problem, she overcame this irritation well.

She’s less haughty than her lofty self-deprecation initially suggests, and is able to chat to the crowd with genuine warmth. She seemed to like them, and they her.  The only bum note was her complaining about being 30, for the second or third time, and how difficult it was, when most of the audience probably had waved goodbye to that that particular boat a long time ago.  

Her shtick contrasts her procrastinating, underachieving daydreaming self with her intellectually rigorous, goal-orientated other half, and placed domestic harmony in the field of battle where there has to be a winner and a loser, which is the where The Art of War comes in. She could have made more of this, as  she mentioned some great aphorisms from the work – but equally it is good not to be too rigidly bound by a theme.

Edwards mentions that she has trouble getting anything started, never mind finished, but this show indicates that’s she’s a perfectly good finisher.  She has a natural poise on stage – rather like Joanna Lumley she’s an elegant clown.  She needs to drive the show forward with more pace and confidence, but that will happen with each performance.  

It’s good sparkling fun, like a slurp of dry champagne just when you want it.

Review date: 6 Aug 2013
Reviewed by: Julia Chamberlain

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