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Feta With The Queen, The Camden Head – Review

Katerina Vrana
Presented by Angel Comedy

Pros: Stand Up doesn’t get better than this. Intelligent content; expertly crafted humour; deliciously responsive audience dynamic and performance skill so good it actually hurts a little bit.

Cons: Guilt. She’s not charging for this show.
Verdict: I’ve seen a *lot* of stand-up comedy and Vrana’s set is one of the cleverest, funniest most skilfully delivered shows I’ve seen, ever.

Courtesy of Angel Comedy

Katerina Vrana’s stand up comedy set, Feta with the Queen, is like a good shag. It’s loud, responsive and messy – in all the right ways. There’ll be tears in your eyes by the end of it and a feeling of total catharsis as Vrana’s humour rips through your body. There’s a lot of thrusting too, but Vrana assures us she’s trying to cut back.

What sets live performance apart from filmed, is the dynamism of the relationship audiences have with performers. It is an absolute joy to see performers enjoying themselves as much as Vrana was. She didn’t just warm us up with a few tangential questions, everything she asked was relevant to the show and she used the subsequent material all the way through. She improvised content that wove itself into the rhythm of the night, keeping us transfixed.

The proof of this was at the end when everybody…and I do mean the entire room, was singing and dancing to The Lion Sleeps Tonight (in our seats, we are Brits after all). This kind of audience participation is usually met with lukewarm response, but we all wanted to be a part of it so damn much. This well and truly crowned her as Queen of the Comedy Jungle.

The main thrust of her set is about the cultural differences between Greece and the UK. She’s entirely Greek but has lived here for 12 years and Feta with the Queen is her amusement at the cultural differences such as our love for tea, Greek chat up lines and of course, the weather. She’s deft in the way she uses stereotypes. She points at them, embraces them and seeks the truth in assumption and misconception in a way which is incredibly refreshing to the point I think I may have accidently learned something. She embraces our judgmental nature which is great because the amount of repressesion we do as a nation about this can’t be healthy.

Vrana is flippant when funny; but she creates a set which points at the world in such a way that all you feel like you are doing is agreeing with her about this mad sphere we live on. This is my favourite type of comedy. She points to the human race as being hilarious and asks you to join her in laughing, even when she’s the subject of them. This professional lack of ego is delightful, especially when half her set is about her machinations for world dominance.

There were several perfect audience moments which she masterfully seduced into her set. Once, bang in the middle of a reverie about how she gets ignored by British men, a guy coming back from the bar had to lurch on to the stage and awkwardly shuffle past her, eyes downcast, to get back to his seat.

Like a lover she’s open and honest, bringing everything to the table for the audience to inspect. All the wobbly bits, fluffy clumps and insecurities. You can do nothing but accept her and fall in love with her.

Wow. Fall in love. That’s an impressive achievement after a one night stand-up. Like a loved-up friend I keep wanting to tell you all her punchlines and how brilliant they were, but they wouldn’t be as funny and I’d only say ‘well you had to be there’.

And you can. Go see her now, she’s in my personal hall of fame. She’s not charging for these October shows, which is certainly appropriate because this set is priceless (but do bring a tip).

Please feel free to leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!

Feta With The Queen is showing at Angel Comedy at The Camden Head (in Angel not Camden) every Monday in October.

To reserve, email kv@katerinavrana.com with name, number of people and date, or just turn up: www.angelcomedy.co.uk/mondays.html. 

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