Twayna Mayne is right when she says that the comedy circuit in 2017 is flooded with young white men but is seriously lacking in black female comics; hence the obvious title, Black Girl. It may be simple, but it says a lot about this “endangered species” of comedy, and she hopes that the fact there are so few black female comics will attract audiences to come and see what she has to say.
So what does she have to say? Well, she opens with a tirade about how much she hates Morocco, which has a few already shuffling uneasily in their seats, and then she tells her story: being in care, being adopted and then to the present day, when she discovered who she is.
Moments of the show are funny, like her mockery of the stereotypical image of black women in modern culture, and her realisation that although much of her show laughs at her middle-class background, playing here in Edinburgh to predominantly middle-class audiences means she has lost some of her act.
Although Mayne may be comfortable with who she has become, she does not particularly make the audience comfortable with a host of irrelevant and close to the bone jokes, which at times go over everyone’s head. Her style is deadpan, and although this works much of the time, it is still an art to be perfected, with timing the key to its success. Mayne fails to pause long enough between some jokes, and rolls from one to the other with little to no linkage.
The structure of the show is a bit all over the place, and although an autobiographical tale of a young black woman’s journey to success is a good premise for a show, it needs a clearer theme if Mayne is to battle against the white male comics she strives to compete with.