One of the revelations of the last couple of years of attending live comedy shows has been the quality of sketch comedy which is coming through on the scene. This allows the comedians to keep the laughs flowing in a series of bite-sized segments without the need for a continuous narrative or awkward gear-changes in topic which can sometimes arise in stand-up. Local talents such as Lords of Luxury, Wizards Sandwiches and the sketch Gods that are Jimmy James Eaton and Jason Geary have been joined by a fresh voice from the world of stand in the form of Sonia Di Iorio.
Sonia is perhaps more familiar to regular comedy attendees as a stand-up comedian – her previous show ‘Don’t Kiss The Weird Girl’ being an hour of stand-up based around her experiences of others perceptions of her in contrast to her own which entertained audiences at the last Fringe and Comedy festival. Here she tickles the funny bone with a different tactic inhabiting the lives of over twenty different characters each caught in their own bizarre, sometimes cringeworthy, situations.
Clearly an accomplished performer, Di Iorio has no qualms of allowing each scene to form from its own premise in a clear and concise manner such that the audience are instantly familiar with the scenario being presented so that there is the minimum of dead-air between sketches. Characters are believably sketched in just the first moments of appearing, their form and personalities clearly distinguishable from each other through the performer’s, often subtle, physical and vocal mannerisms.
Through the course of the show we meet the owner of a New Age herbal medicine shop who is really the victim of nominative determinism; learn how blokes form opinions of one another via their chosen nickname and eavesdrop on the readings being made by an honest psychic. There are some running gags also – such as a character who periodically appears and gets lost in the high-energy music to which they are listening or the person listening to tunes about the apocalypse – which have rather satisfying and very funny conclusions to them. One of the most memorable sketches involves very few words and is a testament to the comedian’s ability to communicate largely through body language as she procrastinates and becomes increasingly more distracted by a bag of crisps.
Sometimes sketch comedy can suffer from the need to transition from one scenario into the next, particularly if the show only has one performer but Di Iorio manages these transitions for the most part smoothly and delivers her lines clearly and distinctly so as to leave no confusion as to when we have begun a fresh scenario.
Overall this is a very funny show from a performer who seems to have found their calling and I look forward to seeing more sketch comedy from her in future.
Sonia Di Iorio – Brain Colours is on at the Imperial Hotel at 6pm until September 25th.