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Hannah Pilkes – Woman On The Verge Review

Embracing the chaos with breakthroughs and breakdowns.

Hannah Pilkes - Woman On The Verge
Hannah Pilkes - Woman On The Verge

Hannah Pilkes is an exceptional comedian whose imaginative characters tread the line between breakthroughs and breakdowns to generate acute social awareness that impacts way beyond its 60 minutes. The perfect antidote to the disassociation of the last two years, Hannah embraces and contains sheer chaos to craft this exceptional solo debut show.

We meet a series of characters as Hannah tries relentlessly to get her show on the road with the help of some audience support. Over-committed and over-exposed to life, she draws our focus to characters that are trying their best to muddle through their own mess. As well as performing a show, Hannah has a wedding to plan and tries to keep up with friends. We also get to see some characters who are also on the fringes of the verge, who are all profound, weird, hilarious and endearing. We’ve all been there – weighing ourselves down with plans and expectations to seemingly ‘bounce back’ from a world we hadn’t quite understood before the pandemic ground us all to a halt.

Hannah is superb at audience interaction and energetically pivots from stage to audience to puppetry during her debut hour with ease. We are watching a masterclass in modern day comedy that transcends any social media channel or room with four walls thanks to Hannah’s unique energy, presence and authenticity. 

Each of her characters have limitless potential to be funny, due to their core humanity. The show’s storytelling creates space for every aspect of life to receive attention as we zoom in on this angsty world. 

Through scenarios plucked from the chaos we begin to become aware of just how silly things can get when you are hitting rock bottom. 

This show creates absurd relatability from chaos, a paradigm that celebrates living in the mess. When planning a fairy-tale wedding planning on a $100 budget, we see Hannah breaking out of norms, backing herself to create new traditions despite what the world economic recession throws at her.

Hannah shows us through a complex mix of clowning hilarity and everywoman grit to try and sometimes fail to get through life’s day-to-day trials, while finding a way to pause, slow down, embrace and acknowledge who we are and build ourselves back with joy.

Show: Hannah Pilkes: Woman On The Verge Venue: Underbelly Bristo Square (Dexter) Time: 7:15pm (60 mins) Date: Until 29 August (except 15th) Ticket price: £7-£10 Ticket link: https://underbellyedinburgh.co.uk/events/event/hannah-pilkes

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