Magliano has, in some ways, cracked the Cambridge comedy sceneRob Eager

Ania Magliano shot to Cambridge fame as a fresh-faced funny girl in 2016, and has subsequently been a key player in the comedy scene here, participating in countless smokers, the Footlights International Tour Show, and making the society’s committee as one of four access officers. Her debut solo stand-up show, Mysterious Girl, is clearly a culmination of everything she has gained from her wealth of Footlight and Fringe experience and promises big things for the future.

The narrative details Magliano’s experience of puberty: what she gained, what she regretted, whom she fancied, who did (or, as the case apparently was, didn’t) fancy her and consequently where she has sought validation since. The topic was obviously a huge success, lapped up by the student-filled audience.

Magliano exudes confidence, greeting the audience like friends as they filed in and they stayed on her side the entire time.

Adolescent choices you were almost convinced only you made - revealing a crush on MSN, making your Sims ‘woohoo’ then killing them off - she’d not only done them too but was also happy to admit it on stage, indeed, some may have been laughing from sheer relief that they didn’t have to keep such secrets to themselves any longer. We journeyed with Magliano through a rocky ten years of her life, enjoying the long form of comedy that the subject afforded her whilst continually laughing at a joke in almost every breath.

How does she do it? Well, Magliano exudes confidence, greeting the audience like friends as they filed in and they stayed on her side the entire time. Some of her funniest moments came from saving herself if she tripped over the odd phrase, or commenting on something from the audience. She deserves a great deal of praise for writing and performing a one hour, one woman show, and the material just seemed to come naturally. She has cracked observational comedy in that she doesn’t try too hard to find the quirks in things that we have normalised, but teases them out gradually. Plus, she added her own slant to the topics of puberty and attraction by scrutinising popular culture in amusing ways: the audience seemed to particularly enjoy her turn to lyrics in songs by boy bands and X Factor stars.


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Magliano has, in some ways, cracked the Cambridge comedy scene. It was lovely that she greeted the audience as friends. It’s something I have seen used by professional comedians and it works - to break the theatre’s fourth wall and put the audience at ease which fits her style of stand-up. However, it was partially because the majority of the audience were her friends. From the minute she started, the floor was roaring with dramatically-trained laughter. Now this review can hardly criticise an audience, but it did impact the show. Magliano is funny, but like any comedian she needs to earn her laughs and I for one certainly didn’t walk in off the street ready to laugh at a saucy vibrator joke: I needed a bit of warming up first. In this way, her content and delivery were somewhat safe and complacent because she knows how to get laughs from her peers who do much of the same style of comedy.

Magliano is clearly a talented comedian who has already achieved great things within Cambridge comedy, which is telling from her sizeable group of friends, supporters and fans. Mysterious Girl was a successful debut solo show and would undoubtedly be popular if extended into a longer run. She brought the whole room together, showed us what we thought we knew and trusted in the seemingly innocent pop songs from our childhoods, and crushed the myths they perpetuated before our very ears. However, Magliano has mastered, and therefore outgrown, this strand of the Cambridge comedy scene and her work would improve from experimenting away from the norm - both within the university, and the trends we see on the national comedy circuit.

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