By Ed Fortune
Sooz Kempner is perhaps best known to STARBURST readers for being an incredibly funny geek. The award-winning comedian has based entire shows on retro video games, and they also play the titular Doom in the Doctor Who multi-media event Doom’s Day, which, at the time of writing, has chronically under-used this talented performer thus far but has a very promising premise.
Y2K Woman is Sooz’s latest show, which takes us back to the heady days of 1999. Sooz was only 15 at the time, with a small set of ambitions that included improving their singing skills and getting a boy to notice them. We get a mix of tales about teenage anxiety, the expectations of youth and the acknowledgement that some things really haven’t changed in the last 20-odd years or so.
Sooz’s style is a mix of cynicism, frustration, preternatural comic timing, musical talent and laser-focused observational comedy. It’s an incredibly charming and engaging show, and this deep storytelling style works so well that you can almost smell the late ’90s.
Sooz uses audio and visual cues sparingly throughout the show to help remind or educate the audience on things from the turn of the millennium that are mostly forgotten now. Each audio clip or video underlines a whole sequence of jokes that leaves you hanging on her every word. There’s an incredible warmth to this show; Sooz talks fondly about their teenage years but also takes the opportunity to talk about the state of the UK right now.
This is the sort of comedy routine that seems simple and effortless but is actually a multi-layered and rather clever set of interlocking stories that you will find yourself coming back to again and again. Y2K Woman is a sharp and witty show from one of the hottest talents on the scene right now, and well worth checking out.