Ania Magliano: I Can't Believe You've Done This | Edinburgh Fringe comedy review
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Ania Magliano: I Can't Believe You've Done This

Edinburgh Fringe comedy review

Ania Magliano may well have been a little frustrated to miss out on an award nomination last year, after months of steadily-building hype, and a debut show that was more than deserving. A tremendously talented and likeable comic, she seems to have taken it in her stride, and feels like a much more relaxed presence now the pressure’s off.

The show starts off with a quote that’s been rattling around Magliano’s head for a few months. ‘Big minds talk about ideas, normal minds talk about events, small minds talk about people.’ If that’s true, we’re a collection of very small minds in the Baby Grand tonight, because we’re lapping up this gossip-based opening with fervour.

After a quick bit of historical, Real Housewives of Jerusalem-based chat, the bulk of I Can’t Believe You’ve Done This is essentially Magliano gossiping about herself: the bad haircut that left her looking like ‘a forest mushroom,’ the friend with whom she’s having a will they/won’t they romance, her anticlimactic threesome story and her breast reduction surgery.

It jumps around a little, but her subject is primarily appearances – how women are seen, how she sees herself, how she wants to be seen. She wants to be physically scary to men, but it’s hard to achieve with her small frame and self-described ‘perfect hourglass figure,’ so these anxieties have been transferred to her hair, which she’s worked out is ‘the way we judge sanity in women.’

True enough, when she guides us through a visualisation of a woman striding down the street holding an axe, first with tangled uncombed hair and then with a tight low bun. ‘She’s the CEO of an axe company! A girlboss!’

There’s a subtext behind these woven stories that only becomes explicit for a second, but provides an interesting texture for jokes about catcalling and body image. Magliano has chosen to leave that thread dangling for this show, which makes for a charming and highly enjoyable if occasionally disposable hour.

Review date: 17 Aug 2023
Reviewed by: Tim Harding

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