Sikisa: Life of the Party | Edinburgh Fringe comedy review
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Sikisa: Life of the Party

Edinburgh Fringe comedy review

There’s a party going on in Sikisa's venue, and she’s the gregarious hostess. With ebullient good humour, she greets us all with that comedy-club staple of asking us ‘who’s drinking tonight?’ – a tried-and-tested bonding manoeuvre –  before introducing us to the fellow guests.

It was a smart move to theme her debut around a post-lockdown house party, making the most of her ribald yet welcoming spirit.  She’s taken a leaf out of Luisa Omielan’s book- or is it Omid Djalili’s? – to keep the spirits up with frequent, lively dance breaks. She is gently rabble-rousing

and attentively keeps checking in to make sure we're all having a good time.

The fellow party guests in her story conveniently represent the various topics she wants to talk about, such as  the cocaine-snorters, the sleazy fuckboy or the ‘friend’ who accuses her of being an Oreo for dating predominantly white men. That's drugs, sexual politics and racial baggage in three handy cyphers. Yet it never feels a contrived device to keep her moving from one routine to the next.

She performs assertively and with no small measure of swagger, not shy about singing her own praises. As a

working-class, second-generation Barbadian immigrant, she knows no one else will help her voice get heard. A prelude mentions the limited aspirations women are expected to pursue, but she’s proud of her graft, her grift and her sex-positivity, which manifests in some mock-predatory flirting with the bloke who caught her eye in the front row.

She knows what she wants and will work to get it. And that’s to be treated like a queen. Even her artwork  has her in a crown… albeit one made out of empties. Apt, because in her comedy there’s often an amusing glimpse of mundane reality behind the all-guns-blazing persona she’d like to project.

Sometimes her vivacious personality papers over relatively underdeveloped material – but at least she makes the effort to sell her material hard. She’s not wrong when she says she’s always hustling.

But there’s plenty of strong gags too. She has inventive solutions to the the scourge of the dick pic and to immigration – she’s a lawyer in that field by day – and offers  a sharp twist on the ‘one in, one out’ policy. And there’s a priceless retort to the white lover who wanted to touch her hair…

Behind all the alpha-female energy she reveals that she has anxiety and depression – of course she does, she's gen Y – though this is lightly touched upon. Like the few pointed remarks to the white majority in the room, this adds a little grit without detracting from what is an unashamedly upbeat show.

• Sikisa: Life of the Party is on at the Pleasance Courtyard at 8.25pm

Review date: 5 Aug 2022
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Pleasance Courtyard

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