sun 14/04/2024

Tatty Macleod, Soho Theatre review - cross-Channel relations | reviews, news & interviews

Tatty Macleod, Soho Theatre review - cross-Channel relations

Tatty Macleod, Soho Theatre review - cross-Channel relations

Entertaining debut from TikTok star who grew up England and France

Tatty Macleod assesses the cultural differences between the French and the EnglishRachel Sherlock

Tatty Macleod, whose debut show is about the differences between the French and the English, has a confession to make: she's not French. She not even half English/half French, despite having lived her life between the two countries. But she's definitely bilingual and, as befits having a foot in both cultures, is well placed to compare her dual countrymen and women.

It's a very good premise for Fugue, even if for most of the show Macleod – who first came to prominance on social media – doesn't detain us with anything much deeper than “the English are like this, the French are like that”.

But she's a warm and likeable presence on stage, and happy to make herself the butt of the joke as she talks about her unusual upbringing as one of four daughters of an English single mother who, 30 years into her French sojourn in rural Brittany, still can't speak French with accomplissement (Macleod sometimes breaks into rapid French but the jokes are all in English).

As a young girl, Macleod would often use her mother's deficiencies in French to mistranslate what her disgruntled teachers were saying about her studies, and now as an adult plays up to the exoticism her Frenchness gives her in some people's – mostly men's – eyes as the "Carrie Bradshaw of the French community".

While offering entertaining examples of the differences between the two nations – men in the audience might not want to meet her eye – Macleod occasionally delves into more pointed territory: the family moved back to England for six months, and the teenage Macleod discovered a widespread truth for so many migrants of not being fully accepted at home or abroad; she was anglaise in France, and a “frog” in England. This dislocation – and the later implications of Brexit – are only briefly explored here (as is cultural appropriation) but promise more fruitful material for later shows.

Macleod's sometimes halting delivery points to the fact that she hasn't been a stand-up for long: Fugue is her first full-length show after she started performing during the pandemic on TikTok, where she gained a huge following. But it's an entertaining debut that promises a lot more to come.

She's a warm and likeable presence on stage

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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