ED2022 3/5 Reviews ED2022 Comedy Reviews

Melissa Stephens: HOT DOGS & TEARS! (IAMA Theatre Company)

By | Published on Friday 26 August 2022

Melissa Stephens has a story – well, a lot of stories – to tell about growing up in the American South. They range from general observations before going into far more personal territory, with a challenging upbringing featuring neuro-divergence, addiction, excess, parental divorce and occasional physical abuse. Not easy to find the funny in all of that, but Stephens does so with alacrity, drawing the audience into often darkly vivid vignettes before finding several unlikely routes to cracking punchlines. It’s a little disjointed in places, things don’t always segue and not all references successfully translate across the Atlantic. However, Stephens’ committed, engaging and demonstrative storytelling style just about brings us all along on what, all told, is a pretty riotous journey.

Assembly Rooms, until 27 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Bruce Blacklaw]