Newly-minted British citizen Olga Koch was on blistering form for the Norwich stop of her Homecoming tour.
Born in Russia but educated in the UK and in America, identity has often formed part of Koch’s comedy, but her latest show focuses on her adopted home in London and what it means to be British.
It takes in a rich range of cultural pot-shots, searing effortlessly from low to high art and comfortably interacting with the audience, as she takes us through a potted autobiography from her high school years to the present day.
Koch has bundles of energy, even when faced with the relatively small crowd that can fit into Voodoo Daddy’s upstairs performance space, and only misses a beat when her hyperactive brain spins off into an over-excited cul de sac because of an audience heckle or spontaneous callback.
She seems to be thoroughly enjoying herself, and is a joy to watch as a result.
Her material is definitely adult, run through with sex, inappropriate associations, and deliberately challenging setups but – if you’ve got the stomach for it – all the more entertaining as a result.
This is dark and delicious stuff, delivered in a full-frontal assault that will likely either leave you gagging for more, or dashing for the exit. I would have happily gone for an encore.
Support was provided by Jodie Mitchell, whose laid-back style could be barely contrast more with Koch’s bombastic swagger but whose material compliments very successfully.
Mitchell – who also performs as drag king John Travulva – tells of the perils of non-binary haircuts, including a surreal rift on the stork-like role of Sandi Toksvig in welcoming “gaybies” into the world. It’s a surprising, confusing, and very enjoyable ride.