Review By Rosie Niven
Lauren Edwards wants you to like her. In fact, she wants you to like her so badly that she’ll tell you as soon as she takes to the stage, leading us on a journey as she walks the fine line between standing your ground and remaining palatable to everyone around you. From over-using exclamation marks in work emails so no one thinks you’re too aggressive, to trying to find enlightenment via Instagram influencers, Live, Laugh, Lauren is a painfully relatable examination of what it’s like to try to stay positive in a world where you’re terrified that everyone hates you.
This witty cabaret about identity and anxiety is an easy one to follow. Edwards fills the show with approachable humour and narratives about not fitting in, and the audience laughs and nods along as she gripes about things many of us asked ourselves over lockdown last year: What the hell is self-care? Will a face mask and some yoga fix all my problems? How do I get my life to look as perfect as everyone online?
Despite her fears about being utterly unlikeable, Lauren is charming and engaging on stage. Her years of training at drama school have done her justice - her confidence in her performances shines though and makes the performance all the more enjoyable. This is particularly evident in her song parodies (and one original song written just for the show), where she has the audience singing along to verses about flower crowns and gratitude journals.
Where Live, Laugh, Lauren falters is in its consistency. The show starts on a strong note, but frequently dips into slow moments, petering out towards the end. If jokes had been sharper and transitions quicker, this would have made Live, Laugh, Lauren a work that had the audience completely in stitches.
In the simplest form, and despite its rough patches, Edwards has succeeded - I like her, and it was clear that the audience did too. I look forward to see what she’ll bring us next.