There are an awful lot of people (and a lot of awful people) doing comedy at the Fringe. When you’ve seen a few you may feel tempted to ask them – ‘who told you you’re funny?’ I get the feeling with Romina Puma people will have been saying to her for years ‘look, love – you’re hilarious – get on that stage!’
I caught Romina’s show – Not disabled, enough! – last year and had such a brilliant time I definitely had to catch her again this year. The noon start was a bit of a big ask for me (think how she feels!) and I imagine for the rest of the audience as well. Therein lies a potential problem but it’s a problem that afflicts the vast majority of Fringe performers who find themselves doing a night-time show during a daytime slot. An audience with very little alcohol and a whole lot of inhibitions can be a very tough gig.
The inhibitions thing is a big deal when it comes to Romina’s material. She deals with subjects some people may be uncomfortable with – sex, disability, the two together. And even if the audience are okay with the themes – that next step of actually laughing out loud might just be too much for them.
Another thing they may have an issue with is the use of language – PC or otherwise. That could be a problem with Romina’s show this year as it’s all about that. The title comes from an Italian proverb and features in a set-piece comparing and contrasting Italian (obsessed with food) and English (a bit mundane). More potentially controversial is the quiz about PC and non-PC words used around disability.
Actually the only way I would use the word controversial when talking about Romina Puma would be if someone said: ‘this woman isn’t funny’. With her beautifully physical knockabout style – which in many ways harks back to classic Hollywood screwball – Romina is one funny lady. End of controversy!
(Review for 17 Aug)