In a change of my usual reviewing programme of albums, singles and gigs, I saw an invitation to catch a new comedy show, and thought it would be a change and we can always do with a laugh, right? This show sounded particularly interesting as Emily Wilson is a former X Factor participant and the show centres around her experience.
Emily has been having success already, as in her home country of the USA she has sold out shows in LA and New York, and on this side of the pond, she was nominated for the Best Newcomer award at the 2022 Edinburgh Festival. Clearly, her name has been spreading quickly as the show was sold out.
My friend and I managed to secure good seats in the centre ready for the show. The show started off with a video montage of Emily as a child, showing her desire to perform from an early age. This set the scene for the story ahead. Emily came out with a song, lamenting the shame of how so much of her early hunger for fame was immortalised and recorded forever to cringe at.
Emily described her story of how she and her male best friend (who in a tale as old as time, she was in love with but he turned out to be gay) pursued fame relentlessly until they seemingly found their big break, when they auditioned for X Factor. Unfortunately the dream didn’t quite pan out as planned, as the judges loved Austin (the best friend) but weren’t so keen on Emily. The story didn’t end there though and turned into a very surreal rollercoaster of emotions, I won’t describe the whole story here, as I think you should watch the show for the best telling of the story!
At moments, there were a few American references that went slightly over my head, but as the show went on, with Emily’s fun comedic storytelling, the more I warmed up to the show. I laughed a lot, and the combination of more traditional stand up alongside video clips and songs was a brilliant touch of genius in making this show something unique, especially in a still male dominated industry of comedy. We got some glimpses into what the reality is behind shows like the X Factor, like the TV edit being less than five minutes when the reality was the duo were in fact waiting a gruelling 45 minutes for a decision to be made if they could go through to the next round.
Yes, this was a comedy show, but what I loved most of all, was that Emily had tried to bury this story deep, but when she realised she couldn’t hide it, she instead decided to embrace it. In turn fully accepting herself, both in the past and now. It was really touching when she ended the show saying ‘I’ve given her a stage tonight” referring to her younger self. Truly I found Emily to be an inspiration, as well as managing to raise more than a few laughs.
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Article by Hayley Foster da Silva
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