Link to Boradway Baby Review: http://broadwaybaby.com/shows/blocked/718975
“Bye!”, Kate (Laura Curnick) chirps as a disgruntled man with a beer leaves from the front row ten minutes into the set, a rather awkward start to Blocked, which is followed by the gradual downfall of a stand-up comedian. Kate, oozing with confidence and sassiness, discusses relationships, babies and IVF treatment over the course of three separate comedy sets, with the first resembling a sharp witted middle-aged rant. Kate introduces us to her [imaginary] husband, Tony, in the audience and states we are at the Brighton Dome, although due to the comedic style it is often difficult to understand whether this is part of a gag or the story.
With Direction from Scott Le Crass, the jokes, although at times chortle-worthy, feel similar in content and are often executed with more vulgarity than necessary. Curnick impersonates women from all walks of life, presenting a variety of polished accents with witty characterisations, with the most popular being a middle-class Chelsea “yummy mummy”.
The costumes and set are that of a stand-up show, simplistic and true to the style. Caroline Byrne’s writing shines through during the final poetic speech, providing a touching and honest account of the comedian’s disappointment at her failed IVF treatment. Although tender, the scene is not as gut-wrenching as intended due to the story’s lack of clarity from the beginning.
It’s clear that stand-up comedy relies heavily on an open and participatory audience, which in this case Curnick just did not have. Blocked, although an intriguing yet unclear concept, is possibly worth watching on a more atmospheric evening. - ★★★☆☆ Faye Butler