Edinburgh Fringe 2019
One woman’s funny observation of the popularity of true crime stories and the criminals.
Can true crime be funny? New York comic Anna Drezen makes it very funny.
The show opens with a video clip of Ted Bundy, one of America’s most notorious serial killer and necrophiles who kidnapped, raped, and murdered numerous young women and girls during the 1970s. The documentary shows the preoccupation that women had with this dangerous man. We’re shocked and astonished at the adulation he receives. And then the comedy starts.
Anna loves true crime. “The worst of humanity is my favourite hobby”. She notes that it is a popular wave. Witness the success of American TV shows Criminal Minds, Elementary, Law and Order (in many iterations) plus the real crime stories on History Channel and others. There is still fascination in the unsolved crimes of Jack the Ripper, even spawning shows at the Fringe on the subject. Anna became interested in historical true crime while taking a ghost tour at Greyfriars Kirk during a study-abroad year. That created fodder for the show, aptly entitled “Get Home Safe”, a parting warning to us all after she shows the us scary material.
Anna manages to transform a small room at the Pleasance into a comedy club. There are glitter curtains, complete with police tape (it is, after all, a show about crime). Throughout the performance there are video clips consistent with the theme. She re-enacts a true crime podcast, but turns it into a very funny bit. Of course, a TV show has commercials, so Anna writes fake spots for companies like Amazon and for bras. She does venture into non-crime territory, talking about dating apps, her relationship with her mom (she says she comes from bad stock), porn, the feminist movement, and studying for the financial crisis. She is searching for a single man, but not in the dangerous city, only in the country. Every line has a quick, clever ending that keeps us laughing for the full hour. Anna has a quick humour and is a clever craftsman. She is an engaging storyteller. You can see the results of her study of stage combat and clowning in her funny facial expressions and dramatic movements. The show is engaging and entertaining, well worth the hour.
Anna is a New York-based comedian, writer, and actor. She currently writes for the long-running comedy TV series Saturday Night Live in the U.S.. She regularly performs standup and sketch comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, the People’s Improv Theater, Union Hall, the Annoyance, and other clubs across America. She is the editor-at-large of Reductress, a satirical women’s magazine.