Seemingly Wholesome Productions PASH is about the bisexual, Max (Olivia McLeod). She is turning twenty-five in a week and, thanks partly to her own idealised and Hollywood-inspired notion of what A First Kiss would feel like, she hasn’t had one yet. So, she embarks on a quest to change that before her big quarter-century anniversary, punctuating her chronicles with anecdotes of her friends’ (much earlier) first kisses.
The show is parked somewhere between a stand-up set and a monopolylogue, the former because of the “relatable” blurring between character, performer and audience and the latter through its structure, props and use of space, sound and lighting.
Because of this, it rests almost entirely on the shoulders of creator / performer Olivia McLeod, who rises to the challenge. As a performer, she brings a warmth, energy and spontaneity which endears us to the character just as it papers over the preview’s occasional technical glitches. As a writer, she keeps her audience entertained, both in the humorous bits and the less comfortable parts concerning every day issues regarding intimacy, which the show neither disregards nor dwells on.
However your level of engagement may unfortunately depend more on the level of kinship derived between what is being described on stage and the audience member’s own life than on the creator / performer’s undoubted talent. Though it has one foot in the world of theatre and the other stand-up, I suspect it will appeal more to fans of the latter, with fans of the relatable, of rom-com tropes, and/or of LGBTQ+ stories in particular deriving the most from this more realistic, enjoyable and heartfelt look at romance.
Pash plays until August 28th at the Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose and tickets can be found at https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/pash
Reviewer: Oliver Giggins
Reviewed: 3rd August 2022
North West End UK Rating: ★★★