This debut show from Dutch comic (by way of Canada and Ireland) Micky Overman focuses on two strands of her relationships – the bond she shares with Frankie, the thirteen year old girl she looks after as a nanny (good) and her relationships with other men (…not so good).
Overman has an energetic and friendly stage presence that allows anecdotes about her love life and her young charge to effectively come across as funny, touching and frank despite their sometimes more explicit content. Examples of this include jokes about Frankie and her friend asking awkward questions about sex and a routine about period sex that has the audience groaning as well as laughing along.
Overman’s bouncy delivery also results in her being able to make bittersweet and darkly humorous stories about being unlucky in love and her dysfunctional familial relationships work with audiences despite their tone. In particular, her accounts of her trip to Australia in pursuit of her boyfriend who had recently left her and her sleeping in the same bed as another ex despite the two having separated nine months earlier still manage to keep the audience laughing even when the more serious undercurrents of the stories are apparent.
However, not all of Overman’s routines are as effective, with observations on her parents’ relationship and an unoriginal observation on the lyrics of Alanis Morrissette’s Ironic falling short in comparison to her other material. Overman also appears hesitant and uncertain when transitioning from one topic to another, resulting in the pace of the show occasionally slowing down.
Despite these issues, Overman provides a funny yet touching conclusion in which she reads a letter addressed to Frankie offering serious and not-so serious advice on growing up and relationships. It manages to not fall into the trap of becoming overly sentimental.
Whilst Role Model is very much a debut show with all of the accompanying imperfections and hiccups, Overman has a likeable and bubbly delivery and stage presence that brings her material to life and entertains audiences in the process.