It’s Tiffany Stevenson’s seventh solo show, and so it’s called Seven. That might seem to lack imagination. But there’s definitely plenty of imagination at work here, and plenty of provocation, insight, mocking and acid observation.
Seven is instead a riff pivoting around seven potential tweets that Tiffany considered making after the Battaclan attacks in Paris, coming around a month after she’d done a gig in David lynch’s nightclub in the French capital. A central element in her sharply observed comedy is the vanity of our need to make huge worldwide impactful events be essentially about us. My Paris. My Syria. Me me me.
Using Twitter as a linking element, Tiffany lures the audience into gentle humour time and time again, and then hits them in the solar plexus with something altogether more edgy and dangerous. The way she derides a Kardashian’s naked selfie on International Women’s Day is harsh, but delightful, and her comments on Trump alone would satisfy most audiences looking for an entertaining comic hour.
Stevenson’s genius is that she draws you in over and over again for what you think is going to be something quite gentle, but turns out to be an artfully concealed switchblade that you don’t see coming until it’s too late. Ouch, she got you.
Social media, particularly, Twitter, gets a fair amount of attention of course – but in a critical and intelligent way. She exposes the sheer vanity of how people use it, and the self-referential framing of horrendous events is used cleverly and with irony, rather than with a dismissive cruelty. And her deft insights about social ‘shaming’ are worth the ticket price alone.
The male members of her audience can’t fail to notice her pointed feminism, but it’s never delivered as a sermon, more as logical, simple statements about the bias, exclusion and crass sexism women are subjected to.
I’ve seen Tiffany perform before in Edinburgh. What’s clear is that she has now built up and refined her art onto a higher level. Her confidence and timing are immaculate, and she also controls her vocal imitations superbly. From a frighteningly convincing and appalling version of herself drunk, to an imagined argument with Cheryl Ann Fernandez-Versini (neé Cole) her versatility and control is awesome.
In summary, this is an hour that does not merely entertain (because it most certainly does that) but also one that has you asking yourself a few uncomfortable questions about yourself and your attitudes.
Stevenson is both charming and dangerous at the same time, and even her harshest statements come with an accompanying frankness and lightness of touch that are the hallmarks of a truly great comedian.
Go see Tiffany. You’ll love this show, and it will live with you beyond the hour. A five stars slamdunk.
Click to book tickets for Tiffany Stevenson: Seven
Assembly Roxy (Venue 139)
Aug 4-14, 16-28 1 hour