ED2023 Comedy Reviews ED2023 Reviews

Larry Owens Live

By | Published on Friday 25 August 2023

Larry Owens is – he tells us in a powerful opening song – “too black for gay people, too white for black people, too poor for rich people”. Basically, he is as uncategorisable in life and he is on stage, where he combines theatre, comedy, cabaret and music. A loose narrative connects the songs. The premise is that an early-career Owens – before his successes in ‘A Strange Loop’ and ‘Abbott Elementary’ – is responding to emails from an unhelpful agent, who is busying trying to decide which entertainment industry pigeon-hole to squeeze the uncategorisable Owens into. The agent is unhelpful, but the emails prompt songs in the style of Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X; impersonations of Viola Davis and Oprah Winfrey; and a whole lot more. Some of the New Yorker’s cultural references might be missed by a British audience, but it doesn’t really matter. It’s an energising and entertaining hour.

Assembly Roxy, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 4/5 | [Chris Cooke]