Review: Rachel Bloom "Death, Let Me Do My Special"

Cartoon showing a stand up comedian casting a shadow of the grim reaper.I've never heard such whooping and hollering from a Bloomsbury Theatre audience. When Rachel Bloom prances on to the stage it is like seeing a revivalist preacher work the faithful. It would have been so easy for Bloom to rest on her laurels and give a "best of Bloom" revue - the crowd would have lapped it up. But, instead, she puts in the hard work to make something new and incredible. Because Rachel Bloom is a fucking professional.

All comedy shows for the foreseeable future are going to be in the long shadow of The Pandemic. Bloom twists that to her advantage. Yes, there are the silly songs and scatological humour that you know and love her for. But there's a deeper magic at play. Every callback is hung like a Chekhovian Gun - hiding in plain view waiting to shoot you through the heart.

Like Hannah Gadsby's Nannette, this deftly weaves between comedy and tragedy. Just when you think it can't get any darker, she sticks you with the comedy knife and twists until you squeal with laughter. She knows exactly how far to take her confessional, and the exact way to toy with her audience. At times it felt like the audience's hysteria was the only thing keeping us from tears.

At sixty quid a ticket (!) you expect something special - and this was it. Even the occasional gremlins were slain with pitch perfect precision. How? Because Rachel Bloom is a fucking professional.


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