Best of VAULT Festival
‘Loren’ isn’t an easy friend or a reliable one for that matter, but she did turn up when her partner ‘Amy’ hasn’t which leaves her to tell her side of the story. That might seem a short description of the show but if i said anymore then it would ruin the show. That’s the hardest part of writing a comedy review, you want to give away jokes and punchlines but that would ruin it.
Loren O’Brien’s aLOne is arguably one of the strongest comedy shows I have seen in some time. Its blend of stand up, one woman show, and sketch comedy is unique and has allowed O’Brien a freedom to explore her comedy whilst being unrestricted by convention. Inside this wild, and at times worryingly strange, character driven show there’s a narrative that is clear and thoughtful with O’Brien’s writing close to perfection.
"Our humour is at best messed up and at worst dark and mean which can make it difficult for outside comedians try and break as so many fail to find that balance that British audience love so well."
This back and forth between her styles gives an added weight to the show that also allows O’Brien to explore how far she can go with the audience. Early on some of her jokes - about her being from America, relationships, family, sex and jobs - got such a deafening reaction from the audience due, in part, to the unexpected nature of the subjects and her delivery meant that O’Brien had gained a pass to do and say whatever she wanted, and did.
The off handed nature in how ‘Loren’ talks about ‘Amy’ and some of their individual sketches held its own charm that adds a throwaway touch to some of the sketches. And yet even with the farcical nature of the show there’s still dabs of subtlety that come through with ease. However the shows real strength lies in how O’Brien has created such an unbelievable anti-hero in ‘Loren’ whose distinct lack of tact makes her unforgettable.
British comedy is something that is guarded and respected with great passion by performers and audiences alike. Our humour is at best messed up and at worst dark and mean which can make it difficult for outside comedians try and break as so many fail to find that balance that British audience love so well.
There is a cleverness to the way O’Brien has written aLOne that leaves you scrabbling around for a likeable character but you’ve be left delightfully disappointed. From the moment O’Brien came onto the stage she had the audience in the palm of her hand and from there a series of horrid and unlikeable characters, with tremendous flaws, sketches and stand presented themselves.
You’d have to search high and low to find a comedy show of this calibre, Loren O’Brien’s aLOne is masterfully written and performed and genuinely leaves you wanting more.