Stand up comedy review: Laura Lexx: Knee Jerk
Ivan Radford | On 17, Feb 2021
Laura Lexx: Knee Jerk plus excerpts from Klopp Actually is being performed online at the Leicester Comedy Festival on Wednesday 17th February at 8pm. For more information, click here.
In 1995, netball was officially recognised as a sport by the International Olympic Committee, but it is yet to played at the Olympic Games. That might sound like a peculiar starting point for a stand-up comedy review, but netball’s relevance to life and society in general has never felt more pressing than during Laura Lexx’s superb third special, Knee Jerk.
Lexx, who caught the circuit’s attention when she responded to sexist heckles several years ago, has wasted no time in winning over audiences through her mix of frank personal insights and anecdotes and witty observations. After Trying, which tackled the intimate subject of trying to conceive, she once again rallies here to share her innermost frustrations with a bright and breezy charisma.
At the heart of them is, inevitably, climate change, and she urges the audience – in what she dubs a manifesto as much as a stand-up special – to put that crisis above the other things that divide us, such as political disagreements. The “B” word also gets a mention, if not explicitly, as Lexx examines the way that society has become divided and increasingly angry, fuelled by echo chambers on social media.
While these big topics aren’t anything new to hear a comic discuss, Lexx’s approach is as idiosyncratic as it is personal, and she employs her therapist-suggested technique of breaking complex problem down to their simplest roots to analyse questions of eco-anxiety and economic inequality with the same rigour that she’d consider why she’s afraid of being late for a train.
There’s an engaging trust and familiarity at play as Lexx repeatedly breaks down barriers between her and the audience, and that only makes it easier to laugh at her outbursts – including, in one inspired bit that skewers a pathetic transphobic argument, an imagined meeting between plotting men using gender-swap operations solely so they can attack women in toilets.
All of this culminates in a rant that is destined to be replayed on YouTube for years to come, as Lexx targets the age-old game of netball, a sport that’s practically designed to put women literally in their place from a young age. Whether you’ve played it at an Olympic level or not, it’s impossible not to cheer along.
The Leicester Comedy Festival costs £5 a performance, or is included within a NextUp subscription.