Ania Magliano @ Pleasance Courtyard

Ania Magliano achieves a sort of comedic quantum state in her new hour, I Can't Believe You've Done This

Review by Laurie Presswood | 21 Aug 2023
  • Ania Magliano

I Can’t Believe You’ve Done This is in many ways a standard friends-to-lovers romcom, via the path of a failed threesome and breast reduction surgery. It’s also the story of a bad haircut. The hour is refreshingly goofy and light-hearted, with Magliano striking an endearing balance between self-effacement and aggrandisement (“do I look like the sort of person who knows how many toes I have?”).

Edinburgh Fringe has, in recent years, rewarded a more sombre, bare-all comedic style. Here Magliano manages to have it both ways; we enjoy 59 minutes of carefree laughter before the dots are joined and the show’s true shape looms. Picking over the hour as we leave it develops new meaning; she has achieved a sort of comedic quantum state.

Magliano tells us that her terrible haircut was administered by a bald man (he’ll never understand her pain); her breast reduction by a man who likes a larger chest (she wonders if he finds the procedure upsetting). These anecdotes are cheeky and whimsical, but lay the groundwork for the show’s parting thought: that to exist publicly as a young woman is to experience men’s entitlement to your body.

There’s a moment late on in the set when Magliano shares the first thing most people do when she tells them about her surgery – it’s a not-so-subtle flick of the eyes down to chest level and back up again. When men give us bad haircuts we often respond by becoming self-conscious and vigilant of these private areas, and through telling this joke Magliano forces the audience to look directly at her chest. In an hour that quietly notes how bad haircuts impact our relationships with our bodies, this small bravery does not go unnoticed.

Ania Magliano: I Can't Believe You've Done This, Pleasance Courtyard (Baby Grand), until 27 Aug, 4.35pm, run sold out; returns may be available