Courtney Pauroso @ Underbelly Cowgate

Courtney Pauroso wants to kick a can with you, become your best friend and then make you fall madly in love with her

Review by Polly Glynn | 14 Aug 2019
  • Courtney Pauroso

Courtney Pauroso’s Gutterplum charts the life of Dale Ravioli from tweenage to old age. Hitting pre-pubescent teen, sexualised valley girl, successful career-woman and liberated old lady along the way, it confronts one of the last taboos: the female form and her sexuality. 

Through easy-to-follow physical clowning and the willingness of one audience member, Pauroso is engaging from the off – playing innocent games with the audience which become a running joke throughout the hour. And although the audience is occasionally fearful of Pauroso’s interaction, it isn’t relied on too much and leaves the room’s collective buttocks unclenched.

There’s some serious laughs to be had from innocent questioning, the best Fleetwood Mac air-guitaring you’ve ever seen, and a transformation into something Paranormal Activity-esque. And, as mentioned, because Pauroso doesn’t put you as on-edge as other clowns, the room isn’t sat in stunned silence as they witness something highly original and fairly strange.

It’s surprising though, that at the biggest liberal arts festival in the world, adults remain disgusted by natural bodily functions; namely periods and body hair. Sure they’re used to comic effect, but the amount of wincing and groaning from a grown audience seems, ironically, unnatural. Pauroso knows exactly what she’s doing though, and revels in the audience response.

With Gutterplum, Pauroso manages to create a captivating narrative with an audience that remain alert throughout.

Courtney Pauroso: Gutterplum, Underbelly Cowgate (Iron Belly), until 25 Aug, 9.40pm, £10-12