Cal Wilson: It Should Have Been Me @ Gilded Balloon

Review by Ben Venables | 11 Aug 2014
  • Cal Wilson: It Should Have Been Me @ Gilded Balloon

In an early sketch, Cal Wilson tells her younger self that she never goes to drama school despite lots of applications. This was a loss to drama because Wilson, even when not in character, has presence and range as a performer. She's obviously in her element on stage and this is a pleasure to see.

Her four stage alter egos – from a repressed book club organiser to a coarse sci-fi porn novelist – confirm her range. Beware: the latter's moustache turns Wilson's sunny and friendly features into those of Franco Begbie. 

The delivery is too quick, though only by a little (a podcast at 1.5x). It has the advantage of a quick getaway from some of the weaker material but the stronger punchlines don't land. As Wilson continues from each character to the characters interacting it becomes too whimsical and confusing. She realises this herself, joking with the audience for missing the beat when they were meant to laugh. Again, this was partly down to mistiming more than any lack in the material.

When Cal Wilson resurfaces from her alter egos toward the end of the show it's a relief – like finding a friend you'd lost in a crowd. A slight adjustment on the ratio in favour of herself over her characters would make this show stronger, but that doesn't stop it being an enjoyable night out.

Cal Wilson: It Should Have Been Me @ Gilded Balloon, 1-10, 12-24 Aug, 7pm, £9.50