Micky Overman says she suffers from confidence issues, but you’d never know to witness her standup set. Small Deaths is a polished hour from the Dutch comedian, whose accent once prompted an audience member to ask, “what is that?” after a gig, in a rare post-show heckle.
Overman’s lack of confidence means she can sometimes find herself believing people who are too full of conviction, whether it’s the postman who refuses to accept she is the recipient of a package or the friend who told her people don’t need to drink water. Unfortunately, in the genetic lottery, she inherited her mum’s self-doubt, rather than her father’s self-possession. Thankfully, when it comes to bravado, ‘fake it till you make it’ seems to be working.
Small Deaths whips along with anecdotes about oboe playing (or, more specifically, oboe miming), the bullying nature of targeted ads and being the horny one in a relationship delighting the audience. Beauty ideals are dissected skillfully, with both modern beauty standards and the ancient Babylonian marriage auctions, which sound like part-pageant-part Simon-Cowell-entertainment-show up for discussion.
A section on recurrent yeast infections and some potentially curative witchcraft doesn’t feel out of place and pushes the crowd to the brink of hysterics. As does a bikini wax story that will make you wince and laugh in equal measure. A mixture of smart observations and snappy one-liners have the audience on their toes, and Overman’s crowd work felt unforced, with a great ability to read the room and know who’s up for a bit of banter and who to leave well alone.
Overman is an engaging and assured performer with a well-constructed, laugh-packed show that deserves to be playing in a much bigger room.