Liability is a clear and loud title for a brand new stand-up show based precisely on that concept: liability on each one’s past. Kat Nip’s performance is not only committed and powerful, she also presents herself and her own history with ravishing rawness. The way she reminisces about her family’s past, her childhood episodes, the fierce criticism towards every harmful institution in Poland and the UK are all covered with a very powerful level of sarcasm and reflection.
This is both a complex and an easy show to watch: Kat keeps breaking down her most relevant life episodes with no remorse on her mistakes nor circumstances, taking laughter all the way through her show. She indeed explains to us this matrioshka of a life: a Polish comedian doing comedy in Berlin… in English. The show is a way to know Kat’s contradictions and obsessions and it doesn’t leave you indifferent because she talks from her own truth with her only goal to get a laugh from the audience.
And all of that while being delivered with a great timing. Kat knows how to lead an audience wherever she decides to, so she’ll bring everyone to uncomfortable areas, knowing when to knock them down with an irreverent punchline. It’s that confidence on the stage that gives such consistency on her almost one-hour show, and it’s a pleasure to see a performer so secure of her own voice and words — which is very convenient when she talks about sex, the church, homophobia, old-fashioned values or just, simply, goes to a dark humour from beginning to end.
Kat Nip doesn’t need much physical expressivity: it’s actually her dry delivery that makes her stage persona so powerful and comical. There’s even a certain hieratic manner in her delivery that seems to go so well with her direct style with comedy. It is almost as if she’s playing with her own Polish stereotypes as she keeps reminding us through the show, yet she’s so distant from all those constructions. Throughout the whole stand-up act she keeps presenting us facts, her own version of life-facts, but she’s delivering them without needing to go around in circles.
There’s the occasional sensation that the speech is going around the same topics of sex and drugs, but it’s truly persevering on the ultimate point that she wants to deliver: how she really owns her own past and present. Liability is a show that, for its comedic path and timing, drinks from the energy of its public to keep escalating, so be sure to come with every need to be outraged by Kat’s performance. As Groucho said, time flies like an arrow and fruit flies like a banana: this show will almost escape from your hands before you can even realise it’s over. A great example of what a Fringe show is supposed to be — irreverence and real desire to show yourself — from someone with demonstrated experience around Europe’s comedy clubs.