Krystal Evans @ Monkey Barrel at The Hive

Krystal Evans finds the (unrelenting) humour in tragedy in her stunning debut hour, The Hottest Girl at Burn Camp

Review by Sarah Hopkins | 07 Aug 2023
  • Krystal Evans

In spite of her self-proclaimed resting sarcastic voice and pretty cool demeanour, Krystal Evans exudes an immediate warmth. That isn’t a fire-based pun, by the way – Evans has those covered – but just a statement of fact. Perhaps it’s the title of this debut hour, or the way vulnerability flickers (sorry) around her edges, but it’s obvious she has suffered Hard Times. Yet still, there is a controlled confidence about her. This is her house, and she is the one who welcomes you. Likeability is not, of course, a prerequisite of a successful stand-up; it just helps that Evans has it in spades.

One pre-requisite of a successful stand-up is being funny, and with her sardonic one-liners and deadpan delivery, being funny, it seems, is in her blood. In fact, she tells us it is – the women in her family are hilarious. Attention-seeking, dangerous, mentally unwell and, ultimately, hysterical. Krystal’s mother particularly, and the deeply upsetting circumstances Krystal endured under her care, is the focus of this hour. By ‘deeply upsetting’, I mean deeply upsetting. There are multiple car crashes, a house fire, estranged parents, and death.

But fear not – this isn’t the tired routine of lulling an audience in with brilliant comedy, then hitting them with trauma (lest they be forgotten), but rather trauma-infused comedy. Krystal recounts the extraordinary tragedies of her life not with self-pity, or even grandeur, but with an unapologetic hilarity.

Krystal Evans candidly shares how her fear of choosing to speak about her trauma publicly induced insomnia, but she abolishes any sense of second-hand shame or unease instantly. There is no point in having life-defining events occur if you can’t see the funny side, she seems to say, and wow, can we see it. This is a stunning debut, and will make you cry happy and sad tears simultaneously.

Krystal Evans: The Hottest Girl at Burn Camp, Monkey Barrel at The Hive (Hive 2), until 27 Aug (not 15), 7.35pm, £9