Carnival Knowledge - Edinburgh 2010
Aug 18, 2010
Naomi Grossman begins her self-penned, LA award-nominated solo show about her sexploits atop a box juggling rubber penises. She starts with “What, you’ve never juggled weenies before?” and finishes with “Real love shouldn’t be this difficult”. That trajectory perhaps answers her point.
To disguise the stories-from-my-life aspect of the show Grossman and director Richard Embardo use a framing device: a circus (hence the penis-juggling). Consequently, her performance is showy. She face-pulls, she double-takes, she grabs her head. Some interesting vignettes are lost in overstatement. Even fascinating stories (her parents calling a dinner party to announce their divorce; a drunken death-leap by her lover) have no sense of coming from her. It never feels real - quite a shame when apparently it is.
Her patois has some appeal (reference to a “two buck chuck” and the Mametish “clusterfuck”) but her over-reliance on puns and twee neologisms becomes wearing, as does the oft-repeated Psycho music. It avoids much rudery (I spotted only two vaginas, one penis and two erections) for which she earns points. The show, though, remains pretty flaccid.