Iliza Shlesinger Live at Queen Elizabeth Hall
“Is this a TED talk? am I doing a lecture?” asked Iliza Shlesinger as the first laughs started to crack in a full house at the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall. The American comedian has been touring Europe with her show Elder Millennial, and she didn’t disappoint the London crowd, who applauded and cheered incessantly for the stand-up star.
With a ponytail, ripped jeans and a denim jacket, the comic looked super casual, but she made it clear – especially to the male audience – that it took hours of preparation. Not only to bust a gut, but to point out that women take a lot of time beautifying themselves, so of course men should be the ones making the first move, and not the other way round.
Shlesinger has been known to be one of the greatest jokers on the topic of the “misfortunes” of being a single female, dating, relationships and so on. But one of the first things the comedian announced was that she is engaged, soon to be married in May after the tour – which ends in Sweden, where she promised not to make any jokes about fake blondes.
The US comic’s performance yesterday was out of this world, yet so down to earth. Because what’s great about her stand-up are some of the questions she raises about being a woman and how Disney fairytales have completely screwed us up. One can easily identify, and the fact that someone is highlighting these things makes the female audience think: “oh yeah, that happens to me too!” As such, it’s impossible not to split one’s sides with the resulting embarrassment. It is certainly not a universal truth and some elements might relate more to American society, but at the core of the material is the same crap women have to deal with every day, all around the globe.
On top of this, as a performer the comedian is truly versatile: she goes from imitating a computer robot to a macho-man, from a stereotypical innocent-shallow American girl to the sound of a peacock – the ultimate cracker. Some of the highlights that overjoyed the British audience were the references to English tea, a tribute to Monty Python, a mention of the All Saints and an explanation of how our pigeons are only after our lunch — a ridiculous and absurd truth.
Anyone in need of a deep belly laugh must chase Shlesinger somewhere in the continent and catch her next show before we lose her to married life. But don’t despair, surely whatever she pursues next will make people howl from here to Timbuktu!
For further information about Iliza Shlesinger’s tour or to book visit her website here.