Sometimes life doesn’t turn out as wild as you think it will, and that’s okay. As Ania Magliano navigates her twenties, she realises that it’s alright to be boring – maybe even funny, in fact. The 24-year-old was the winner of the 2022 Leicester Comedy Festival’s best new show and is a writer for Amelia Dimoldenberg’s ‘Chicken Shop Date’, and this is her long-awaited Fringe debut. Her one-hour stand-up gig, ‘Absolutely No Worries If Not,’ flies by in no time at all: it’s sharp, poised, and deadpan hilarious.
She introduces the show as her coming-out story, but it’s not the one we initially expect. After discussing her parents’ underwhelming reactions to her bisexuality, it launches into a surreal journey of traumatic Jacqueline Wilson plots and a bizarre Timothée Chalamet horse hybrid. Cool, calm, and collected, each story is recounted with irresistible charisma and excellently calculated silences – the audience was in bits.
But Magliano isn’t just whapping out joke after joke like a factory production line. What’s really great is that she welcomes the downs as well as the ups. She taps into some of our greatest insecurities – about our universal want to feel interesting and about unrecipricated love (in her case, for her cat). She dips into more vulnerable territory with the time she went to her first sex party ( ‘a lot of people were wearing harnesses, like Go Ape’), and a slither of self-consciousness shines through.
For the audience members that grew up in the UK, Magliano’s material hit a whole different kind of funny – especially when she discusses the cult of Lush cosmetics and the unforgiving realities of all-girls schools. She builds up to punchlines with natural suspense, often tricking us into thinking there is some sort of big, obvious reveal – then looks us dead in the eyes to deliver a rib-tickling alternative. Drolly funny and admirably composed, Magliano is a talent and a half.