Edinburgh Fringe Festival: Katie Brennan's Quarter Life Crisis (And My Own!)Friday, August 12, 2016
Sitting in the midst of happy revellers in an Arabic style tent in the Underbelly at the Edinburgh Fringe, our night was almost over. We had just been to see a raucous performance by the energetic ‘Abandoman’ and we settled down to have one final tipsy glass of wine to round off the night before getting the bus home to bed. After a perhaps unwise (but very much needed) mixture of wine, gin, cocktails and beer our eyes were dazed but sparkly and our conversation clouded with tipsy wittering. We were immersed in each other and our own world, talking about anything and everything as well as nonsense and nothing.
Into our wittering politely interrupted a nervously excited girl in glitter. She told us that her first show of the Fringe was about to start and she wondered if we’d like to go along. Endeared by her non-pushy approach and giddy on the high of the rest of the night, we decided to extend our evening, miss our last bus and take a chance on this wide-eyed lovely in a sparkly jumpsuit. After all, after that many drinks nothing could really be that awful.
Katie Brennan took to a small stage in a darkened room accompanied by her piano playing maestro and companion. The Underbelly’s Wee Coo (I struggle to think when I’ve been to a venue with a cuter name) was intimate, with only 4 or so rows on each side and was a welcome cosy retreat from what had become a drizzly evening. August in Edinburgh is almost as unpredictable as the shows the month welcomes!
With little expectations, the show started and with the intimacy of the venue and the raw honesty of Katie’s relatable anecdotes you felt like you’d fallen in from a night of gins and cheap wine into Katie’s own bedroom and you’d decided it was time to have a right girly debrief about life. Katie’s content is not unlike things I haven’t seen or read before - I have enjoyed sympathising with similar topics of many a blogger or comedienne before. However, it is her delivery, ability to relate and the combination with her enviable musical talent which sets her apart from the other 90’s commentators. Katie’s expressions and hilarity bring her candid and cackle-worthy stories to life. Admittedly I have not quite reached some of the peaks and troughs of Katie’s Quarter Life Crisis just yet, such as her telling tales of being a ‘bad bad bridesmaid’ but I’d like to think that if I ever have the pleasure of being a bridesmaid I will remember Katie’s witticisms and try and be a great, great bridesmaid!
The majority of Katie’s content was of course directed towards the more female cohort but nonetheless my boyfriend still had a right good giggle, perhaps identifying some of Katie’s own traits and memories from his experiences of me. For example, I got a nudge in the ribs and a rye smirk when Katie was discussing how women really are crazy. I got you gal.
Despite the hilarity, 90s songs and quips about gin and hangovers (which I was to experience the next morning) Katie’s show also had a more serious message and undertone which perhaps I identified more than most on that particular day. That day I had had an awful time at work to the point where I’d actually ended up in tears as I’d left. Any gal will know that whatever the emotion, if it gets too much, the waterworks threat to break their barriers and overflow whether that be sadness, anger or frustration. Katie’s honesty and ability to see the funny and positive side of this stage in our twenties made me see that I didn’t need to just sit back and take what had happened at work. I found her words triggering thoughts in my head about my own life. Katie describes the show as not only a show but cathartic therapy for her and perhaps it also served as some sort of light bulb moment and temporary therapy for me too. She made me recognise I had to embrace the good, the bad, the happy and the downright laughable moments of our quarter-life crisis’ and be content in the fact that the big bad mid-life crisis is still a far way off!
Katie Brennan’s Quarter Life Crisis is on at The Wee Coo at the Underbelly in the Edinburgh Fringe between the 3rd and the 29th August at 10:50pm - it really is worth going to see and as she says herself even better after a few glasses of wine! P.s. she’s also a blogger too, so even better, she’s one of my people.