Natasia Demetriou: You'll Never Have All Of Me @ Underbelly
Natasia Demetriou is a plonker. A word she throws around at the top of the show, and after an hour-long sejourn into her wonky brain, it's the inevitable conclusion. Once part of the successful sketch group Oyster Eyes, 2014 see sher bringing her first solo show to the Edinburgh Fringe.
The show begins with a large, theatrical VT introducining Tash in a twisted play on the sort of 'serious performer' intro vids that pepper X-Factor. The laughter immediately flows in response to the unabashed silliness, setting the tone for the unapologetically weird hour that follows. She then triumphantly bursts from backstage in an shower of Katy Perry's Roar, signature hip-pops and an inexplicable headdress that only adds to the giggles. What proceeds is a somewhat gentle intro – a couple of jokes, a disclaimer and a Matryoshka doll costume change – a welcome contrast to the absurdity to come that helps to ground the show in sincerity. Something that will ultimately help keep the audience on board when things get a little stranger.
Each character is original, well thought-out and isntantily likeable. Not only do they display Demetriou's bravery and acting skill, they provide a credible vehicle for delivering her trademark throwaway lines of punch-you-in-the-gut brilliance. This is a woman who clearly enjoys arsing around, but for the most part, the character's are well-constructed enough, it's clear she posesses the insight needed to refine, in order to maximise impact. The show treats us to a run in with whole host of Natasia's alter-egos, including a Greek-Cypriot fast-food entreprenuer, a Russian stand-up, a bubble-permed spangle-clad Aussie chat show host, and a sex therapist whose advice you'd do well to keep far from your genitals. Amongst the characters there are hilarious check-ins with her family, recurring musical support from a well-known audience member, and more video brilliance reminiscent of a darker Smack the Pony or Claudia O'Doherty on crack.
This is a glorious hour. A little rough round the edges in parts, as nerves assert themselves once or twice, but each personality is delivered with such verve it's quickly forgotten. Natasia Demetriou is absolutely refreshing in a scene where so few cling to the water-wings of traditional delivery. This is the sort of batshit, wee-yourself funny that should feature in everyone's Fringe. More, please!