Eleanor Conway, a solid 2/10 (but only in Hollywood), is unafraid to bare all in an hour of riotous stand-up that takes us down her wild and varied walk of shame. From her six years as a music journalist for a Triad gang lord in Taipei (not the weirdest boss she’s ever had), to her stint behind the camera in a hard-core porn studio, and the ‘line, fag, drink’ cycle of her London clubbing days, Eleanor Conway certainly has a few tales worthy of a sixty minute Fringe set.
The show is not just about all the wild antics of her former self, and through a series of anecdotes, escalating in depravity and madness, she also examines the nature of addiction, intimate partner violence, and the struggles of being a horny feminist. But this is not a moralising show: Conway’s honesty is compelling and endearing. The best kind of stand-up (as far as I’m concerned) is that which comes from experience. I love a comic unafraid to delve deep into of the pockets of their past and shake out all the best change: the dirty, the dire and, of course, the downright absurd, and this is something Conway excels at. While discussing sometimes quite confronting subject matter, she remains positive, energetic and, importantly, funny.
Behind the mic, Conway is cheeky, with a confident and easy-going charm. She’s the type of comedian totally at ease with her audience, keen for a bit of banter, but unafraid to reel in an unruly punter (‘This is a show, not a chat, Gooey.’) This is particularly important for those moments when her content takes some darker turns. She’s a captivating storyteller, and right when she has you in the palm of her hand she knocks you down with an unexpected pun, then draws you back into the drama.
This is not a show for everyone, and an audience of differing sensibilities may find the jokes don’t land so well. But, with a drink in hand, an open mind, and a few memories of one’s own former party days in the back of your mind, Eleanor Conway is sure to delight.