"A love letter to little Katie D"mynameiskatied Production Team

Last night, the Corpus Playroom was chattering with excitement, despite it being 9:30pm on a Monday. The oddness of the hour combined with the excitable crowd led me to hope I was finally going to see some of the fabled Footlight farce. Having heard the mythology that surrounds the comedy group, who’ve churned out an equally lengthy, yet less disappointing, list of alumni than the Cambridge Union, I’d so far been less than impressed with their line-ups. However, the Corpus crowd weren’t as drunk as the Footlight’s audience usually is, so either they were actually supportive friends, or we were in for a genuine treat as intoxication did not appear to be a prerequisite for enjoying the late-night amateur stand-up. Unorthodox, I know.

Katie Devey burst onto the stage, bright green coveralls and sparkly jewellery only adding to her enormous personality. Though Corpus is but a little theatre, Katie’s energy was worthy of the Apollo. She played to the advantages of the smaller stage and effectively commanded every inch of it, including her forays into the audience stalls. Despite the temptation to say a small space made it easier to amplify her personality, I’d argue the intimate setting left Katie just as exposed, and I was surprised by her skill at steering an audience.

Katie’s act put her 13-year-old-self’s YouTube channel on the chopping block, laying bare the cringe-inducing memories from her childhood and early teens that most of us prefer to keep suppressed. Probably quite cathartic for Katie, her routine seemed to be very relatable to the audience, who laughed and groaned with her as she recalled the highs, and mostly lows, of teenage life in the early 2010's.

It is strange to reach the age where your early teen memories are no longer something you recoil at and attempt to accept as the making of your character but now look back upon with nostalgia. Or perhaps those moments are still incredibly cringe-inducing, and Katie has simply managed to capitalise on hers to deliver not a faux-empathetic shallow attempt at nostalgia-porn, but rather a sincere love letter to little Katie D.

Though I too flirted with the temptation to start a Minecraft ‘Let’s Play’ channel, Katie took us through her attempt at Zoella-esque chatty vlogs and skits. I must commend 13-year-old Katie on a superb performance. Baby-thespian Katie had already mastered comedic timing almost a decade ago, leading me to wonder whether her Footlights training had resulted in a minor regression.

“Katie’s particular brand of Cantabrigian comedy kept the audience howling”

One thing that sticks out to me is the sound and tempo of stand-up. Katie, like most amateurs, delivered her lines almost impeccably and accordingly deserves applause for relaying an entire hour-long monologue flawlessly. However, this may be where the won’t-be-kept-at-bay theatre kid inside lets her down. In my opinion, stand-up works better as more of a conversation with the crowd, rather than an eloquent one-man show. Of course, all stand-up comics are performing meticulously rehearsed performances like Katie, but perhaps the next great challenge is to refine her piece by scratching up the edges a little. I suppose the true effort of comedy lies in an effortless delivery.


Mountain View

Anyone But The Man Review

Cambridge comedy of course would not be complete without a few freshers’ week anecdotes, the horrors of dating Cambridge men, and a mention of Gardie’s on a night out. All great comedians lament on the same topics, but it’s their unique take and style that makes it worth an audience. And though I’d seen the same content covered in every theatre in Cambridge, Katie’s particular brand of Cantabrigian comedy kept the audience howling, unlike other attempts I’ve seen.

To keep your audience fully engaged for an hour is no easy task, but Katie’s routine not only made me giggle more than I have at any Footlights show but left me wanting more. It’s unusual for a self-proclaimed attention-seeker to actually be deserving of the attention they command. I think mynameiskatied has helped comedian Katie to find her style, and, with a little work, I would not be surprised to see her at the Fringe or the Apollo, amongst the ranks of the Footlights’ prestigious alumni.