COMEDY NIGHT: Why you need to see... Laura Lexx
Who: Laura Lexx
Where: XS Malarkey
Laura Lexx is often described as 'bubbly' and 'bouncy' in stuff you read about her, as if she's some kind of impossibly happy CBeebies presenter with a SunnyD habit. It's understandable I suppose, but those aren't the adjectives that most readily come to mind as she absolutely kills it at Manchester's XS Malarkey.
Granted she has enough kinetic energy to power a small Prius, and seemingly suffers from resting smiley face, but her stage presence isn't remotely that of manic pixie dream comic. Instead she is an irresistible torrent of mad-as-hell exasperation with a rare ability to expertly punch up with rapid-fire punchlines.
In a set that lasts just over 20 minutes, Lexx covers such numerous and vital topics as: depression, climate change, Brexit, transphobia, feminism, xenophobia, domestic violence, gender stereotypes and tolerance (both societal and gluten). As noble as that may sound, at no point does it feel like worthy do-goodery.
Lexx is perplexed. She is dumbfounded. She's never talking down to the audience, but rather shouting into the void where common sense should be. And it's very fucking funny. She repeatedly and incredulously asks where the adults have gone, as she tries to make sense of her well-founded anxieties.
There's a kind of genius to taking a complex subject and distilling it into a series of coherent and bitesize gags. It's like one of Neil Buchanan's Art Attacks. The laughs are so frequent and cleverly constructed that it's not until you take a step back that you realise she was critiquing the folly of nationalism all along.
Her masterful takedown of transphobia, and the shameless appropriation of feminism by certain prominent Twitterers, is a particular tour de force. As is a deliciously acerbic commentary on Hollywood's Wives vs Girlfriends trope. You'll never watch an Adam Sandler film in the same way again.
Perhaps the most exciting thing about Lexx is that you can easily see her going on to become a mainstream superstar - one with the wit and social conscious to say important things to a mass audience in a very accessible way. The state we're in at the moment, it can't happen soon enough.