Ola: The Comedian And His Future Wife | Review by Julia Chamberlain
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Ola: The Comedian And His Future Wife

Note: This review is from 2014

Review by Julia Chamberlain

Ola has a distinctive voice and presence, a calm gravitas beyond his 27 years. He’s unusual. He’s not encumbered by self-deprecating false modesty, and if he mentioned it once, he mentioned it half a dozen times that he wants to be one of the greatest comics in the world.

Maybe he is being modest, given a considerable proportion of comedians seem to think they’re already there, usually before they’ve got a decent 20 minutes, but it does sound a bit disconcerting.

Ola’s quiet, measured delivery brings the audience to him, he certainly doesn’t go out of his way to play warm or endearing – mocking the front row for their names, inviting people to share ‘how we met’ stories and then closing them down and later making one dippy female look foolish for her uninvited contribution by treating her with chill disdain. There’s no glint in his eye or quick smile that punctures the deadpanning to make you feel he doesn’t take himself that seriously.

Apart from falling into the trap of talking to the audience about other gigs – which is like talking about your exes, it’s just rude – he covers some interesting areas. It’s refreshing to have someone talking positively about celibacy but I find it contradictory that he’s also talking about using porn, going to strip clubs and is generally patronising about women.

I don’t really want to rise to the bait of his comments about women who have one-night stands as though there is some correlation between drinks purchased and emotional investment (‘someone got you cheaper’), and let’s face it, some kind of implied ownership, purely for comic purposes. It has to be tongue in cheek, he is aware of the issues of women being defined by the male gaze, but it’s uncomfortable.

There’s no easy pap here, nothing obvious or lazy, it’s consciously smart and testing material, but there’s not a lot of sparkle or lightness. Themes are proposed and examined, the audience is put on the back foot a lot, you feel he’s grave and clever and he wins the points, but the show could do with a leavening dose of fun.

Review date: 22 Aug 2014
Reviewed by: Julia Chamberlain
Reviewed at: Laughing Horse @ Espionage

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