REVIEW: Pressure Makes Diamonds: Laura Daniel (NZ International Comedy Festival)

Review by Matt Baker

Laura Daniel

[Diamond Precision]

The pressure is on for Laura Daniel. Having successfully demonstrated her comedic skills on television, worked snippets of material through Raw Comedy nights at The Classic, as well as clocking countless hours of improv with Snort, the live comedy world awaits her first solo comedy show – as a Billy T Award nominee no less – but Daniel is more than ready. As a comedian and actor, Daniel has amassed a wealth of knowledge and experience in regards to both content and style, creating a truly unique on stage persona with comedic breakdowns that both evidence and belie her age.

Daniel doesn’t even pause to catch her own breath let alone yours, driving through her dialogue before taking on the next physical sketch. Watching Daniel perform is like watching a cartoon character bounce out of your television screen and come to life. Her energy could be considered manic if her set wasn’t so finely tuned and her comedic beats so precise.

There is a challenge emerging for comedians nowadays to construct more theatrical narratives in their solo shows. It’s not obligatory, but it does provide the opportunity for a more complete performance in the Aristotelian sense. Daniel nails this component with an astute observation on reality television, providing a genuinely uplifting penultimate musical number.

Having written and performed in television’s Jono and Ben, and Funny Girls, Pressure Makes Diamonds is a well-crafted theatrical showcase of Daniel’s talents, which cannot be ignored. It’s an incredibly promising solo debut for a young comedian, and a hot contestant for the Billy T Award.

Pressure Makes Diamonds is performed by Laura Daniel and plays at the Basement Studio until May 14 as part of the NZ International Comedy Festival 2016. For details see Comedy Festival

SEE ALSO: Theatreview.org.nz review by Nik Smythe

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