That’s ‘Mom’ with an ‘O’, not a ‘U’. Despite Orange-bloke (and the 70 million people that voted for him in the last election) I’m constantly at pains to tell my kids there are actually lots of really great people from America and Abigail Paul didn’t disappoint. Although she resides in Germany nowadays. Went, she claims, ‘for the schnitzel, and stayed for the human rights’.
Smart, bright and snappy, she seemed almost delighted, despite the gravitas of the subject matter, to tell us her story; born in Panama to an American woman and a Chilean father (who promptly disappeared) she endured an understandably ‘different’ upbringing, the two most affecting issues being; raised (a) in Florida by (b) a mother exhibiting all the classic traits of someone with NPD, in layman’s terms, Narcissistic Personality Disorder. To elaborate, ‘Florida looks on the map like a gun or a dick, neither of which you’d like in your face,’ and ‘I was looked after by a cast of female and/or ‘gay-bysitters,’ suiting her mother’s needs more than hers.
There’s a big element of manipulation inherent in the above-mentioned disorder so it’s unsurprising Abigail was only too happy to break the 18-mile frontier (apparently the average distance from their parents that children in America end up) and head to Europe. However, there was no bar too low that ‘Joan’ wouldn’t sink to in order to assuage her own needs; on one occasion feigning serious illness to ensure her daughter came home from Germany for Christmas.
Abigail skilfully made some comic light of what’s a serious issue, but one left feeling slightly hectored. Advancements in psychology and psychotherapy are welcome but in Joan’s case NPD felt a tad generous when ‘selfish bat’ might have sufficed.
At Greenside (Riddles Court) 18.35, this week until Sat 12th… then 14th – 19th… and 21st – 26th. https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/abigail-paul-involuntary-momslaughter
Reviewer: Roger Jacobs
Reviewed: 7th August 2023
North West End UK Rating: