Camden Fringe 2011
Give it up for the mistress of disguise bringing you comical characters from her family life, stereotypical culture and from the infamous land of celebrity.
In today’s comedy circle, one rarely sees a comedic genius who can brilliantly create new material with every new audience she comes across. Francois cleverly uses her different character disguises to highlight her most important aspect of her act which is the interaction with the audience. She paints a varied description of her African culture which, is very much appreciated in today’s multicultural England. Her performance is filled with unique parodies about what being black means to a person as well as silently criticising our current consumer society, including black people, who have become more accustomed to an object – orientated lifestyle.
Material wealth has become more important instead of the focus on the simple ideals that made you happy. She creates a beautiful contrast between the outside material world and her family connections. Differences between cultures is another recurring concept that evoked laughter as well as reassuring nods from the audience. From delightful anecdotes about climate changes, the true meaning of being African as well as traditional food, Francois took the audience across a journey that brought back childhood memories, when life was a lot simpler. Her main success was demonstrated through injecting her African heritage into current events such as the long sentences that the rioters received and her unique take on the different kind of lovers.
Francois is never too afraid of ridiculing herself through her various disguises, a quality which is very likable especially in today’s society where life has become too serious. Whether it is about ‘doing your business’ in public or talking about sex in your old age, these are issues, that if ever discussed, would be in the privacy of good friends, just enjoying a giggly chat together. During the night, Kat brilliantly transformed the audience into this group of close friends where embarrassment was no longer an option. Thorough her costume changes, she highlighted the main ‘fun’ aspect of the performance whilst changing her accent for every new character she portrayed. The main set of music used was a traditional, soulful African anthem that set the mood for a cultural extravaganza whilst music was also used as satirical voiceovers/ advertising for her act.
Intimacy between the audience and the performer was heightened through the size and layout of the room and through relating her ironic scenarios to a member of the audience. My favourite aspect of her act was when she compared marinating a chicken to preparing a woman for sex. The chicken will only taste good if it is properly marinated something which takes time and effort. In many cultures such as African and Asian, food is regarded quite highly and as a pleasure and it is great that Kat created her own comical perspective on this. Even more, although most people immigrating to a considerably different country would feel quite nervous, Francois uses the funny angle and shows that moving to a new country need not be so daunting.
A truly spectacular production where satirical humour and endless laughter are combined with the simple theme of just bringing the ‘happy’ back.