Review by Rose Lumi
On the last Thursday of the 2022 Edinburgh Fringe an excited crowd gathers outside Bunker Three in Pleasance Courtyard, waiting in anticipation for comedian Ania Magliano, who quickly became the darling of this years Fringe.
As the doors swing open, people shuffle by and take in yet another unique Fringe venue. Low, curved ceiling, a simple stage set up, microphone, tucked away stool and black TV screen, rows of unoccupied seats that beg to be claimed. Intimate enough of a room for Magliano to highlight her charm while crowd working her audience, a one point she throws a foot up on a seat, but a big and busy enough space that her talent for effortlessly navigating a packed house is on display.
For Magliano, this is a coming out story - she delves into sexuality, relationships and sexual escapades. However, the show is so much more than that. Magliano interweaves fun, nostalgic and hilarious anecdotes and jokes about a variety of topics, including an exploration of a peculiar childhood author and her journey of admiring that she is…well, boring. At only 24, her ease on stage is incredibly admirable. She launches into an hour of personal anecdotes, honest jokes and playful crowd work. Navigating a range of topics, many of which are incredibly relatable to those in her generation, and other topics, undoubtedly relatable to anyone, of any age.
Throughout her debut show, Magliano covers well trodden stand up topics such as her family dynamic and romantic relationships. However, she brings her Magliano charm and perspective to each and every point. The show certainly is a journey of self-discovery with the tipping point: a sex party.
Her unique perspective bleeds into every anecdote, and throughout the hour, Magliano throws in carefully constructed and hilariously executed longer, more detailed hypotheticals which strengthen the baseline premises. In these hypotheticals, Magliano shows her audience the playfulness and masterfulness of how her comedic brain works, packing her jokes with tags and exciting and surprising word choices and phrases.
Magliano performs with an easy which undoubtedly equiped her to handle a sold out run at this years Edinburgh Fringe. At this, one of her final performances of what she undoubtedly must consider a successful run at the fringe, Magliano is still keeping things interesting for herself. In a joke involving various audiences each selecting a number between 1 and 4, the number correlating with a pre-written word or phrase, which she then throws together to make a hypothetical book blurb, Magliano laughingly admits to adding a few fresh, untested descriptors. The joke lands, a testament to both her joke writing and performance abilities.
The show concludes and as audiences leave a slide show plays on the TV screen. Animations and photoshopped imagines act as call backs that tie various bits and jokes from the show up in a nice bow. Unfortunately it seemed this slideshow was missed by many fast-moving audiences who were undoubtedly dashing off to see some of the other fabulous shows in the closing days of the festival. I’d have loved to seen Magliano chatting about these images. Given her ability to make everything from tried and tested jokes, and on the spot crowd work, feel like I’m hearing from a friend, I felt as if little nuggets of gold and fun moments were missed with audiences not paying close attention to what could have been a delicious encore of jokes, at the close of the show.
I have no doubt Magliano’s star will continue to rise as I’m sure she will return to the festival and undoubtedly continue to make a splash year after year.