Edinburgh Fringe 2022
Freddi was born into her religion and from there began a journey which you might say was preordained. Freddi is from Berlin but was toured round many parts of the world by her missionary parents. Settling in Sierra Leone, she ended up living next to an American family, hence she speaks English with an American accent. She tells the story of how she became less and less engaged with the church until she decided it was not totally for her and having had an apprenticeship in talking to crowds through church meetings, became a stand up.
Gralle is an attractive raconteur. The material does vary in effectiveness but what she does have is the technical ability to deliver it well. Stories of her time growing up as an evangelical drew me in but after a while we were moving further and further away from the material which is probably the greatest opportunity for visceral comment. Instead, we get some decent material around the sex club scene in Berlin and Christian pornography but less successful in the Berlin flash mob, recycling and the use of the word soul.
It’s ironic because this has a lot of soul. At its heart there are some really good pieces of material, but the pace drops halfway through, and people become less engaged. It picks back up again and by the time we get to Christian pornography we are back on board. In the middle it feels like the enthusiasm drops so we can jump off the bus when perhaps it needs that pace to keep us going. All the material is funny but veers too much from amusing to laugh out loud.
Structurally the area I felt was unique was the upbringing, was the perspective of a someone with that background having something to say about life beyond the church gates. It didn’t really feel that I left with that sense of her experiences giving much by way of insight.
It is, however, good. I laughed, regularly and felt that it had some decent material just knocking below the surface which could really explode into life. What sets it apart is, the technique, which for many comedians is the difficult but, here it is already well measured and working.