Victim, Complex is a stand-up comedy show discussing Kiri Pritchard-McLean’s experience with a very bad boyfriend: his lies and his gaslighting* but in a fun way.
Kiri is a truly confident performer. This show feels very true to her and very genuine. It’s really impactful to see how Kiri can confidently discuss a long and harrowing experience that still interferes with her life and career, and make it funny and insightful. Even as someone who has not been in a manipulative relationship, I found the show moving and inspiring because of the passion that Kiri has. At some points she was essentially shouting into the microphone in a small room; she performs so unapologetically, which is excellent because she deserves to. There are so many men, with not much substance in their comedy, getting to high places through sheer blind confidence. Women like Kiri who are clever and confident are very good for comedy. I would imagine that for someone who had been in a relationship like Kiri’s, it would be empowering and encouraging, to see a confident, funny and cool woman own a traumatising experience and show that some good can come out of it.
“The show is productive and positive, which takes strength”
Kiri’s storytelling ability is impressive. I felt completely immersed in her story; there were so many twists and turns that had all of the audience compelled. They almost felt like magic tricks they played with your expectations so much. She is very good at creating images of her memories, which made her story-telling more vivid. The art that went alongside the show (outline drawings symbolic of the characters projected onto the walls) aided the vibe of the show. Even the man on the skateboard sat behind Kiri, who was changing projections, wasn’t too incongruous. The whole thing was very well put together. It was also very funny. Kiri has a knack for creating caricatures that we all recognise as people we’ve met before and effectively communicating the characters of the people in her life. I love a character bit.
However, importantly, rather than delving into personal aspects of the relationship, or anecdotes about the people involved, the show focuses on the power of language and having terms to identify with, to validate feelings which may make you doubt yourself or your experiences. The show is productive and positive, which takes strength.
* Manipulating someone by psychological means into doubting their own sanity. This is an important word within the show, one that Kiri explains she was not aware of until it happened to her.
Kiri Pritchard-McLean: Victim, Complex is performing until August 27th at Pleasance Courtyard, Bunker 2. More information and tickets can be found here.
Image: Kyla Wren
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