Zébulon Goriely

Overachievers is the latest one-night stand at Corpus playroom, starring a three-person cast of women. Although things have begun to change recently, comedy has historically been a genre dominated by men, with women relegated to dumb blondes, naive mothers, and crazy exes.  Often the only way for women to break out of this type casting has been for them to write role for themselves.  This is the intention with Overachievers: the comedy night allows Alice, Persephone, and Sophia to write from the female perspective. 

Sophia, one of the show’s two sketch comedians explained her reasoning: ‘Back when I was studying drama, I was consistently getting cast as the “angry, nagging woman.”  Turning to writing my own sketches finally allows me to play whoever I want’. Far from playing a stereotypical ‘nag’, in Overachievers, Sophia is portraying ‘Libby’.  The sketches in the show explore her blossoming, if slightly dysfunctional, relationship with her partner, ‘Juliet’, portrayed by Persephone. 

Zébulon Goriely

However, this is but one half of the show.  The sketches are interspersed with stand-up, by Alice.   Talking to Alice about Overachievers, she said: ‘I don’t want to make any grand political claims in my comedy.’  However, the fact that comedy remains a highly male-dominated genre means Alice concedes that ‘just existing and doing my own thing on stage seems to be a grand political claim on its own’. 

‘Just existing and doing my own thing on stage seems to be a grand political claim on its own’

In writing Overachievers, Sophia, Alice and Persephone have acknowledged the all too rare position they are in, putting on an all-female comedy night.  Thus, one of the aims of the show was to fail the reverse Bechdel test; slightly ironic for a show called ‘overachievers’.  What does this mean?  The show cannot have at least two men who talk to each other about something other than a woman.  


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Of course ‘the female perspective’ does not necessarily mean direct issues of patriarchy. Audiences can expect to hear about less high-brow issues such as rating your dates, peeing in public, and CRIME amongst many other themes. It’s sure to be a liberating, hilarious evening.

Overachievers plays at the Corpus Playroom on Monday 17th February.

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