Desiree Burch @ Heroes, Hive

Desiree Burch's new show has moments of greatness but feels a little jerky

Review by Yasmin Hackett | 23 Aug 2019
  • Desiree Burch

Desiree Burch chooses an interesting story through which to weave the themes of the show – her experience of being on an acid trip at Burning Man Festival has the feel of someone talking about a particularly mad dream they once had. It’s not inherently funny, but the events of the story can at times be shocking and seek to highlight the madness in the experience of being a black woman in current society.

This is punctuated with reference to a book on the side of the stage containing the ‘gospel truth’, which provides the hour with a little structural cohesion. However, Burch also has to break up the story to include actual jokes. Though this does alleviate some of the intensity of the storytelling, it can make the show feel a little jerky. Within these sections she includes gags about the loss of Michael Jackson’s music as a result of a recent documentary which threw light on his sexual abuses. This leads into a slightly less original piece about the loss of musical legends in recent years, which is nothing that hasn’t been heard or thought of before – and many of the gags that break up the storytelling are given a similar treatment.  

Desiree’s Coming Early! ultimately feels a little messy, but there are moments of greatness. She insists toward the end that there is a validity in relying on feelings and emotions as the lens through which stories are told, but that we should be wary of stories often being embellished because of this. In this case her own embellishments make for a compelling if uneven hour.

Desiree Burch: Desiree's Coming Early!Heroes @ The Hive (Big Cave), until 25 Aug, 7.40pm, £7-10/PWYW