Reviews are coming in for Liz Kingsman’s acclaimed One Woman Show at the Ambassadors Theatre in London.
The show had its press night last night, 19 December 2022, and runs at the Ambassadors Theatre until 21 January 2023.
Liz Kingsman’s show-within-a-show was a hit at the Vaults Festival, at Soho Theatre and in Edinburgh, and is a brilliant spoof of the “Flea Bag” genre – previously hailed as bold, irreverent, raw, moving and triumphant.
Kingsman’s previous credits include BAFTA-nominated ITV2 sitcom Timewasters, Borderline on Netflix, and topical Channel 4 comedies Ballot Monkeys and Power Monkeys. She was named in this year’s Evening Standard and Observer’s Faces to Watch in 2022, and won this year’s Sky Arts South Bank Breakthrough Award.
One Woman Show is directed by Soho Theatre associate director Adam Brace, and was originally produced at the Soho Theatre and Traverse Theatre by Country Mile Productions. The Designer is Chloe Lamford, Lighting Designer is Daniel Carter-Brennan, Sound Designer is Max Perryment and Choreographer is Joshua Lay.
Check out reviews below, including The Times.
More reviews to follow.
One Woman Show reviews
"Much more than a Fleabag spoof"
"People, most importantly, have seen it and laughed, laughed, laughed. Its mix of the pointed, the poised and the just plain silly has been described as a honing-in on the new freedoms of — and hidden limitations on — how women are depicted in rom-coms and beyond."
"The good news is just how light and freeing and funny One Woman Show remains now it’s in the West End."
"... even those who haven’t seen all the kinds of shows that Kingsman is zeroing in on will recognise tropes galore that have entered the culture, will revel in the clichés clobbered, the poses punctured. Like all the best comics, Kingsman has never seen an orthodoxy she doesn’t fancy questioning — her own included. It makes for an endlessly ingenious 70 minutes of fun."
"The number one comedy of 2022"
"It’s even better than last time: break a minor byelaw if it helps you get to the gig"
"... this is less a direct parody, more a show that works on multiple levels. Kingsman, who originally made her name in sketch group Massive Dad, has crafted a masterpiece that never misses a trick."
"The script is pitch perfect, from wilfully overwritten lines about commuting on the “underground train network” and “I’m just having a remember”, to breaking spontaneously into performance poetry or sending up romcom love scenes that jump randomly from location to location."
"The number one comedy of 2021 is now also the number one comedy of 2022."
"Joke-packed Fleabag parody is perfectly pitched"
"Liz Kingsman’s slick, self-conscious ‘troubled woman’ show nests its complex jokes within jokes to tremendous effect"
"The staging is more elaborate, but not overdone. The already excellent lighting and sound jokes are elevated. The layers of meta jokes are more complex and rewarding. The show uses its new setting to great effect, undercutting the character’s insistence that she’s a struggling artist."
"Not a minute of the show is wasted. Kingsman has packed in every genre of joke, from the physical and visual, to satisfying satire of theatre and TV conventions, and countless pull-back-and-reveal punchlines. Her parody never strays into cliche; it’s too well-written for that. Twists in the story succeed in being both compelling and ridiculous. Kingsman’s performance is pitched perfectly throughout."
"All hail Liz Kingsman, the comedian superbly puncturing an over-inflated Fleabag"
"Kingsman’s One Woman Show is a magnificent satire on a certain kind of comic heroine, with jokes that run the full stylistic gamut"
"... the real strength remains Kingsman’s joke-writing. Luvviedom is skewered from the very first moment as, with the house lights still up, she gives a faux-modest speech welcoming the crowd, fawningly praising theatrical megacorp ATG as “true champions of storytelling”."
"Only an insane TV commissioner would be won over by Wildfowl, but every smart one will be knocking on Kingsman’s door."
"Liz Kingsman’s zinging take on Fleabag goes beyond parody"
"Here’s a good start to the new year. A show that dismantles old assumptions but fizzes with its own life."
"... the evening, which is framed as if it is being ineptly filmed, flies beyond parody. Kingsman dances her way out of box after box. And points out what she is up to, just before her audience notice. Every bit of predictable plotting or fatty phrasing is picked to pieces as she sends up the loquacious, intimate, supposedly unflinching but actually indulgent monologue in a loquacious, intimate etc etc: “I am so relatable."
"Together, she and director Adam Brace create a comedy that ends in colossal disorientation and yet is always totally clear. Not least in its skewering of female prototypes, of attitudes that began as exhilarating escapes and end as straitjackets."