Lucy McCormick @ Pleasance Courtyard

The triple threat’s exploration of female heroism is admirably messy yet surprisingly dull

Review by Rob Young | 23 Aug 2019
  • Lucy McCormick @ Pleasance Courtyard

Boring is not an adjective that one should associate with a show that features nudity, snogging, rimming, squirted ketchup, high-octane dance and mistreated chocolates. Unfortunately Lucy McCormick’s latest is quite unengaging for something trying hard to be shocking. 

The premise is not the most original: McCormick is looking for fem-spiration, so has scoured the annals of history for some girl power. She has come up with Eve, Boudicca, Anne Boleyn and Florence Nightingale, but has almost nothing interesting to say about them. Perhaps intentionally, the cultural analysis on offer here would look shallow in a primary school project, and while this may be a comment about how cruelly women have been served by history, it does make for an occasionally laborious hour.

Four sequences about the heroines follow; the most successful being apple-chucking Eve, which features an excellent impression of a snake by dancer/victim Samir. These episodes are useful foils for McCormick to show off her talents, which are enjoyable if unexceptional. There are certainly better singing voices at the Fringe, although her dancing is spirited and manic acting suitably uncomfortable.

The problem here is that McCormick, flitting between aggressive screeching and arrogant nonchalance, sometimes lacks the charm needed to carry off a show so consciously chaotic. She notes in a mid-show snack break (time spent reading jokes from a Penguin bar) that she wants to move away from post-structuralism and call herself an ‘alternative comedian’, but for this to be realised, she needs to prioritise narrative and characterisation instead of revolving the show around grotesque set-pieces. 

A fantastic closing episode that will alter your perception of the humble Fudge bar is entertaining, but there should be a move away from these being focal points of the show. Thankfully for McCormick’s cervix, life is only a Miniature Hero rather than a whole box of chocolates.

Lucy McCormick: Post PopularPleasance Courtyard (Pleasance Two), until 25 Aug, 8pm, returns only